Northampton Saints and Munster clash at Thomond Park in a heavyweight Pool 1 clash on Saturday with Saints captain Dylan Hartley predicting a titanic forward battle.
The match is is a repeat of the 2000 Heineken Cup final that Northampton won that one 11 years ago, but it is honours even from their four tournament meetings.
"Not many teams go over there and win in Limerick so there is plenty of motivation for us," said the England hooker.
"The match will be between two powerful packs – it all starts up front – and that is an area we pride ourselves on and, as ever, we will again be looking to dominate."
Northampton Saints' last Heineken Cup appearance was the 33-22 defeat to Leinster in the 2011 final at the Millennium Stadium and the hurt is still raw for the 2000 champions of Europe.
"It's not the pain of that defeat that is motivating me – if you are in the Heineken you want to win it – and as we have learnt over the last few years it is never easy in this tournament," he said.
"We had a great run to the final last year but you have to play for 80 minutes and we did not do that.
"We went 20 points up and threw it away – and threw away the Heineken Cup as well.
"Obviously it hurts but it does not get any bigger than that in terms of big match experience and we will learn from that.
"In terms of intensity – as it was in the final last year, as well as the quarters and semis – those games are as close to internationals as you can get. But the coolest thing about it is you are playing with your mates and to be on that stage with your mates is pretty special because it all goes up a notch between the Pool and knock-out stages of rugby.
"However, Munster have also been to Heineken Cup finals and won some and lost some and as a group they have been through those same disappointments while also being together for a long time.
"As a squad we are still quite young with our best years ahead of us. We have not lost anyone and we have added to the squad. That gives us more depth, which we needed, as we were playing pretty must the same team every week."
While Hartley admits the players are still hurting, what director of rugby Jim Mallinder reveals was "the toughest defeat I have ever had" the pain simply won't go away, "it is not just about weeks, it is more like years," he said.
"It is an opportunity of a lifetime and you have lost one – and as a player or coach you will never be involved in too many Heineken Cup finals.
"That will never go away but the good thing is you always have the chance to get there again and that is the way we are looking at it.
"We came 40 minutes short and, as we had not done much in the week before the final, the energy in the first half was absolutely outstanding.
"But I saw the fatigue at half time, the lads had given everything and ran out of steam in the second half, it was as simple as that.
"We are already doing different things, we have built up our squad and we are swopping players around a bit more, giving them breaks when we can."
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