"They're very good technically," says Howard. "You don't win the Heineken Cup, or remain so consistent in it over a number of years, without having that about you. We're all expecting a tough battle, but more importantly, the whole squad is looking forward to it. They've got a very good lineout, but so have we. They've also got a fantastic core belief - something which also seems familiar!"
Tigers have already played their Irish counterparts once this year, having travelled to Cork for a pre-season fixture in mid-August. Tigers won that day, against a Munster with a number of players missing, and Howard recognises the fact that the result will mean little when it comes to Sunday's eagerly anticipated match-up.
"To win in Munster was obviously a good thing, but we appreciate that there were a lot of guys missing on their part, especially in the forwards. We had a good workout in the backs, but that game will have no bearing whatsoever on what happens this weekend."