'It's a funny one' - Caelan Doris on facing Irish comrades in Leinster-Munster derby
Caelan Doris says coming up against so many of his Ireland World Cup team-mates will be "a funny one" when Leinster face Munster in Saturday's BKT URC derby (6.30pm).
The back-row was among 18 Leinster players who went to France as part of Andy Farrell’s squad, while there were eight Munster men on the trip.
The panel first assembled in mid-June and only broke up after the quarter-final loss to New Zealand in mid-October.
Leinster moved top of the standings after Saturday’s 54-5 victory over Scarlets, during which Doris and a number of other front-liners returned to action.
"We had three weeks off, which was nice because it’s a bit of a roller coaster of emotions afterwards," the 25-year-old (below) told RTÉ Sport.
"Obviously massive, massive disappointment and a few very low days.
"After maybe a week or so you are looking forward to getting back into a bit of training and seeing lads again and then, as it came around, you’re thinking, ‘I wouldn’t mind another couple of days [off]’ but since we’ve come back in it’s been good fun, being back with everyone and getting stuck in.
"It’s a funny one, having been in camp with the guys for so long and now... last time I saw them was in camp and now we’re seeing them on the pitch in the Aviva.
"So it’s a funny one from that perspective but all friendships and camaraderie will be put aside for the couple of hours and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in."
Leo Cullen’s side have had the upper hand over Munster in recent years, winning two semi-finals and a final between 2019 and 2021.
However, the most recent crunch game, last season's URC semi-final, which Munster won with a late Jack Crowley drop-goal at the Aviva Stadium, has altered the dynamic somewhat.
"They have certainly improved a