Paul O’Connell insists Munster’s sixth and final Heineken Cup clash with Northampton will have an international feel about it after they won their fifth encounter against Castres 26-10.
The Irish RaboDirect PRO12 outfit booked their place in the quarter-finals after seeing off their French opponents – Johne Murphy and Wian du Preez contributing to the win with tries.
Ronan O’Gara converted both and kicked four penalties to complete Munster's scoring while Castres responded with a try from Yannick Caballero and a conversion and three points from Pierre Bernard.
Munster will now finish the group at Northampton looking to secure a home quarter-final, while the Saints are aiming for victory to progress to at least the Amlin Challenge Cup equivalent.
When the two sides met in November O’Gara sunk a drop goal with the last kick of the game to seal a 23-21 win for Munster – who have won all five of their Heineken Cup games so far.
And with that triumph still fresh in the mind O’Connell, named as Ireland’s captain for the upcoming RBS 6 Nations last month, is expecting a game the scale of a Test match.
“Northampton still have a lot to play for. There is a bit of history between us and we have played each other a lot over the last few seasons,” said O’Connell.
“It will be almost like a Test match. We know we’ll have a home quarter-final if we can get a result over there and that would be brilliant.”