Munster are searching for an eighth appearance in the knock-out stages and are banking on their famed army of fans making it a hot atmosphere for the Sharks to handle.

“We were obviously pleased to have beaten Castres Olympique but it’s just one win and we still have everything to do,” said coach Declan Kidney.

“We had a great time on Friday night and enjoyed the victory, but getting that win isn’t worth a single point against Sale and we have a massive task now for Saturday.

“There are a lot of sore bodies after the game in France, which was very physical, and our focus will be on getting everybody to face this big challenge against Sale. I’m certainly very glad that we have a full week to prepare and recover.

“Naturally we were hoping for a win against Castres but we never expected a bonus – although it’s worth nothing unless we can produce the goods this weekend.

“However, we have taken some positive points out of Friday’s game to work on for Sale. We played with our heads and adapted our game well to the team that played on the night.

“I was also pleased with the confidence shown when we ran the ball out of defence a few times. The boys were able to keep their focus throughout the game and that’s something we will really need if we are going to get the result we need in Round 6.

“And we are certainly looking forward to playing this game at home. That is not just because of the great atmosphere at Thomond Park but also because it does make a difference if you can sleep in your own bed the night before a match.

“The team come into the game much more relaxed and the boys have been on the road now since 27 December so we could do with a week at home!

“There is obviously no question that Sale are the strongest rival in the Pool and it is difficult to prepare for a game against them because they can play so many different types of game and have great strength and depth in their squad.

“The game at Edgeley Park in Round 1 was very physical in the forwards but they also have the players to be able to run it through the backs.

“They are also aiming for a home quarter-final so we don’t expect them to be looking for anything less than a five-point victory against us. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a big game on Saturday.”