Double Heineken Cup winner Denis Leamy will miss the start of Munster's campaign to retain the Heineken Cup due to a shoulder injury.
Leamy faces four months on the sidelines after he undergoes a shoulder reconstruction operation in London next Monday and looks set to miss at least the first two pool matches of Munster's title defence.
The Tipperary native, who scored a try in Munster's Cardiff 2008 win over Toulouse last May, will also miss all of Ireland's autumn international matches.
Leamy had been troubled with a shoulder injury towards the latter end of the season but the surgery was postponed until the summer months. Leamy has lined out for the province on 30 times in the Heineken Cup and has scored 50 points for the double winners.
Munster will face familiar foes in ASM Clermont Auvergne, Sale Sharks and tournament debutants Montauban in Pool 1 of the 2008/09 Heineken Cup.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.