Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has stuck with the same pack of forwards that lined up against the Vodacom Bulls in the Carling Currie Cup final, while Pienaar, on loan from Toyota Cheetahs, marks his return to the Cell C Sharks after an 11 year absence from the team where his senior career began.
Pienaar played 100 matches for the Durbanites across all competitions before moving to Ulster, where he amassed 141 caps over seven seasons, and he will bring valuable experience of playing in Northern Hemisphere condititions to the table.
The only other change to the starting XV sees Boeta Chamberlain named at flyhalf after the departure of Lionel Cronje following his short-term stint with the Durban side during the Carling Currie Cup.
There is a welcome return for the lock duo of Hyron Andrews and Ruben van Heerden, the pair have been named on a forward-dominated, 6-2 split bench.
Thomas du Toit is expecting a huge onslaught from the Irish team, but warns that his side won’t be holding back either, with both sides looking to impose themselves physically.
"They’re a physical side, all Irish sides are, but that doesn’t mean that South African sides are not as physical, it’s definitely going to be a tough game of rugby with physicality at the front and centre," said Du Toit.
"We as South Africans don’t want to disappoint as far as physicality goes.
"Munster have a good kicking game and will look to play in the right areas of the field, but when they need to put the ball through phases, they can do that. So the big challenge for us is going to be stopping their momentum throughout the game.”
Cell C Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Khwezi Mona. Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Ruben van Heerden, 21 Mpilo Gumede, 22 Sanele Nohamba, 23 Jeremy Ward.