The Heineken Cup is back - and Tony McGahan will send Munster out for the first leg of their title defence insisting the champions are still "a work in progress" as the 24 teams set out with the goal of qualifying for the Edinburgh 09 final at Murrayfield in May.
The double champions of Europe face tournament newcomers Montauban at an upgraded and 26,000 capacity Thomond Park on Friday night as they launch their challenge to go all the way to the Edinburgh final and match Toulouse with a hat-trick of Heineken Cup triumphs.
But McGahan, who has been elevated from being a valued back-of-the-store member of the coaching team to the man at the front of the shop window, is adamant the team is "not yet the finished article - although I am pleased with the way we have started the season.
"History has shown that it is more difficult to defend the Heineken Cup than it is to win it in the first place and so far only Leicester Tigers have managed back-to-win wins," said McGahan, who was backs, skills and defence coach to Declan Kidney.
"And, if you look any further forward than the group stages, then you do that at your own peril. Because if you look back at us a year ago when we lost to Wasps in Round 1, then you will see how important it is to have the ability to bounce back if you want to qualify for the later stages.
"Once again we are in a really tough Pool and initially we will split the fixtures up into three blocks of two each and then break those down to one game at a time and plan our preparations match by match.
"As to how I want my team to approach the game while I am a big advocate of playing positive rugby at the same time I want a side capable of factoring in the relevant conditions and strengths of the opposition.
"Part 1 is to play in a positive way but Part 2 is to also take on board those other elements - I guess you could call it mix and match.
"Naturally you want to be going into the Heineken Cup with some good form behind you and in our win over Leinster we defended very well and were far more organised."
And while Australian-born McGahan may be something of a new face to some, he is well steeped in the Munster away as he is now in his fourth season with the province.
"I joined Munster in February, 2006, but obviously there has been a bit of a shift in the challenges between the jobs because last year it was strictly a hands-on coaching job.
"Now I am still out on the field but I also have other little matters to deal with, such as the welfare of players, the communications channel and other various day-to-day issues."