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Champions Cup

Champions Cup, Line Ups, Predictions, KO Times & TV Coverage.

We’re predicting a clean sweep for the Irish Provinces

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

It’s that time of year again, Heineken Champions Cup time!

It’s back this weekend and celebrating its 25th season!

We’ve taken a look at this weekend’s fixtures, the line ups & the refs and put together our predictions for the weekend!

Here are the fixtures for this weekend along with KO times what TV Channels will be covering the matches.

Weekend Line Ups & Predictions:

Gloucester Rugby v Toulouse

Date: Fri 15 November 2019 KO: 19:45 

Venue: Kingsholm Stadium

GLOUCESTER RUGBY

  • 15. Jason Woodward, 
  • 14. Tom Marshall, 
  • 13. Chris Harris, 
  • 12. Mark Atkinson, 
  • 11. Ollie Thorley, 
  • 10. Danny Cipriani, 
  • 9. Joe Simpson, 
  • 1. Val Rapava Ruskin , 
  • 2. Franco Marais, 
  • 3. Jamal Ford-Robinson, 
  • 4. Freddie Clarke, 
  • 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 
  • 6. Ruan Ackermann, 
  • 7. Lewis Ludlow, 
  • 8. Ben Morgan (c).

Replacements:

  • 16. Corné Fourie, 
  • 17. Josh Hohneck, 
  • 18. Fraser Balmain, 
  • 19. Alex Craig, 
  • 20. Jake Polledri, 
  • 21. Callum Braley, 
  • 22. Billy Twelvetrees, 
  • 23. Matt Banahan,

TOULOUSE

  • 15. Thomas Ramos, 
  • 14. Yoann Huget, 
  • 13. Sofiane Guitoune, 
  • 12. Romain Ntamack, 
  • 11. Maxime Médard, 
  • 10. Zack Holmes, 
  • 9. Sébastien Bézy, 
  • 1. Cyril Baille, 
  • 2. Julien Marchand (c), 
  • 3. Charlie Faumuina, 
  • 4. Florian Verhaeghe, 
  • 5. Joe Tekori, 
  • 6. Francois Cros, 
  • 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 
  • 8. Jerome Kaino.

Replacements:

  • 16. Peato Mauvaka, 
  • 17. Clément Castets, 
  • 18. Dorian Aldegheri, 
  • 19. Richie Gray, 
  • 20. Selevasio Tolofua, 
  • 21. Alban Placines, 
  • 22. Pierre Pages, 
  • 23. Lucas Tauzin,

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

AR1: Gwyn Morris (Wales)

AR2: Wayne Davies (Wales)

TMO: Ian Davies (Wales)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Toulouse to win by 7.

Bath Rugby v Ulster Rugby

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 13:00 

Venue: Recreation Ground

BATH RUGBY

  • 15. Freddie Burns, 
  • 14. Semesa Rokoduguni, 
  • 13. Jonathan Joseph, 
  • 12. Jamie Roberts, 
  • 11. Ruaridh McConnochie, 
  • 10. Rhys Priestland, 
  • 9. Will Chudley, 
  • 1. Beno Obano , 
  • 2. Tom Dunn, 
  • 3. Will Stuart, 
  • 4. Josh McNally, 
  • 5. Charlie Ewels (c), 
  • 6. Mike Williams, 
  • 7. Sam Underhill, 
  • 8. Zach Mercer.

Replacements:

  • 16. Jack Walker , 
  • 17. Lewis Boyce, 
  • 18. Christian Judge, 
  • 19. Elliott Stooke, 
  • 20. Josh Bayliss, 
  • 21. Chris Cook, 
  • 22. Max Wright, 
  • 23. Gabe Hamer-Webb,

ULSTER RUGBY

  • 15. Will Addison, 
  • 14. Rob Lyttle, 
  • 13. Luke Marshall, 
  • 12. Stuart McCloskey, 
  • 11. Jacob Stockdale, 
  • 10. Billy Burns, 
  • 9. John Cooney, 
  • 1. Jack McGrath, 
  • 2. Rob Herring, 
  • 3. Marty Moore, 
  • 4. Iain Henderson (c), 
  • 5. Sam Carter, 
  • 6. Matt Rea, 
  • 7. Jordi Murphy, 
  • 8. Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements:

  • 16. Adam McBurney, 
  • 17. Eric O’Sullivan, 
  • 18. Tom O’Toole, 
  • 19. Alan O’Connor, 
  • 20. Sean Reidy, 
  • 21. David Shanahan, 
  • 22. Angus Curtis, 
  • 23. Louis Ludik,

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)

AR1: Manuel Bottino (Italy)

AR2: Matteo Liperini (Italy)

TMO: Stefano Penne (Italy)

Broadcasters: C4 / Virgin Media / BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Ulster to win by 9

Glasgow Warriors v Sale Sharks

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 13:00 

Venue: Scotstoun Stadium

GLASGOW WARRIORS

  • 15. Tommy Seymour, 
  • 14. Ratu Tagive, 
  • 13. Nick Grigg, 
  • 12. Samuel Johnson, 
  • 11. DTH van der Merwe, 
  • 10. Adam Hastings, 
  • 9. George Horne, 
  • 1. Oli Kebble, 
  • 2. Fraser Brown, 
  • 3. Zander Fagerson, 
  • 4. Robert Harley, 
  • 5. Scott Cummings, 
  • 6. Ryan Wilson, 
  • 7. Callum Gibbins (c), 
  • 8. Matt Fagerson.

Replacements:

  • 16. George Turner, 
  • 17. Alex Allan, 
  • 18. D’Arcy Rae, 
  • 19. Tim Swinson, 
  • 20. Chris Fusaro, 
  • 21. Ali Price, 
  • 22. Peter Horne, 
  • 23. Kyle Steyn,

SALE SHARKS

  • 15. Simon Hammersley, 
  • 14. Marland Yarde, 
  • 13. Cameron Redpath, 
  • 12. Luke James, 
  • 11. Byron McGuigan, 
  • 10. AJ MacGinty, 
  • 9. Embrose Papier, 
  • 1. Ross Harrison, 
  • 2. Rob Webber, 
  • 3. Jake Cooper-Woolley, 
  • 4. Bryn Evans (c), 
  • 5. James Phillips, 
  • 6. Jean-Luc du Preez, 
  • 7. Ben Curry, 
  • 8. Dan du Preez.

Replacements:

  • 16. Akker van der Merwe, 
  • 17. Valery Morozov, 
  • 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 
  • 19. Matthew Postlewhaite, 
  • 20. Jono Ross, 
  • 21. Will Cliff, 
  • 22. Robert du Preez, 
  • 23. Chris Ashton,

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)

AR1: Adrien Descottes (France)

AR2: Cedric Marchat (France)

TMO: Patrick Dellac (France)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Glasgow by 11

Leinster Rugby v Benetton Rugby

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 15:15 

Venue: RDS Arena

LEINSTER RUGBY

  • 15. Jordan Larmour, 
  • 14. Dave Kearney, 
  • 13. Garry Ringrose, 
  • 12. Joe Tomane, 
  • 11. James Lowe, 
  • 10. Johnny Sexton (c), 
  • 9. Luke McGrath, 
  • 1. Cian Healy, 
  • 2. Ronan Kelleher, 
  • 3. Andrew Porter, 
  • 4. Devin Toner, 
  • 5. James Ryan, 
  • 6. Rhys Ruddock, 
  • 7. Josh van der Flier, 
  • 8. Caelan Doris.

Replacements:

  • 16. James Tracy, 
  • 17. Peter Dooley, 
  • 18. Michael Bent, 
  • 19. Scott Fardy, 
  • 20. Max Deegan, 
  • 21. Jamison Gibson-Park, 
  • 22. Ross Byrne, 
  • 23. Rory O’Loughlin,

BENETTON RUGBY

  • 15. Jayden Hayward, 
  • 14. Angelo Esposito, 
  • 13. Nacho Brex, 
  • 12. Alberto Sgarbi (c), 
  • 11. Luca Sperandio, 
  • 10. Ian Keatley, 
  • 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 
  • 1. Nicola Quaglio, 
  • 2. Hame Faiva, 
  • 3. Marco Riccioni, 
  • 4. Ira Herbst, 
  • 5. Dean Budd, 
  • 6. Giovanni Pettinelli, 
  • 7. Braam Steyn, 
  • 8. Nasi Manu.

Replacements:

  • 16. Engjel Makelara, 
  • 17. Federico Zani, 
  • 18. Tiziano Pasquali, 
  • 19. Marco Fuser, 
  • 20. Marco Lazzaroni, 
  • 21. Toa Halafihi, 
  • 22. Tito Tebaldi, 
  • 23. Tommy Allan,

Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)

AR1: Tual Trainini (France)

AR2: Laurent Cardona (France)

TMO: Eric Briquet-Campin (France)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS / DAZN

Prediction – Leinster by 23

La Rochelle v Exeter Chiefs

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 16:15 

Venue: Stade Marcel Deflandre

LA ROCHELLE

  • 15. Jérémy Sinzelle, 
  • 14. Vincent Rattez, 
  • 13. Geoffrey Doumayrou, 
  • 12. Levani Botia, 
  • 11. Arthur Retiere, 
  • 10. Ihaia West, 
  • 9. Alexi Bales, 
  • 1. Dany Priso, 
  • 2. Pierre Bourgarit, 
  • 3. Arthur Joly, 
  • 4. Romain Sazy, 
  • 5. Mathieu Tanguy, 
  • 6. Grégory Alldritt, 
  • 7. Wiaan Liebenberg, 
  • 8. Victor Vito (c).

Replacements:

  • 16. Facundo Bosch, 
  • 17. Reda Wardi, 
  • 18. Sila Puafisi, 
  • 19. Lopeti Timani, 
  • 20. Kevin Gourdon, 
  • 21. Brock James, 
  • 22. Marc Andreu, 
  • 23. Kini Murimurivalu,

EXETER CHIEFS

  • 15. Stuart Hogg, 
  • 14. Tom O’Flaherty, 
  • 13. Henry Slade, 
  • 12. Ian Whitten, 
  • 11. Alex Cuthbert, 
  • 10. Joe Simmonds, 
  • 9. Nic White, 
  • 1. Alec Hepburn, 
  • 2. Jack Yeandle (c), 
  • 3. Harry Williams, 
  • 4. Dave Dennis, 
  • 5. Jonny Hill, 
  • 6. Dave Ewers, 
  • 7. Jacques Vermeulen, 
  • 8. Sam Simmonds.

Replacements:

  • 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 
  • 17. Ben Moon, 
  • 18. Marcus Street, 
  • 19. Jannes Kirsten, 
  • 20. Don Armand, 
  • 21. Jack Maunder, 
  • 22. Gareth Steenson, 
  • 23. Jack Nowell,

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)

AR1: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)

AR2: Dave Sutherland (Scotland)

TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)

Broadcasters: beIN SPORTS / FR2 / BT Sport

Prediction – La Rochelle by 2

Ospreys v Munster Rugby

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 17:30 

Venue: Liberty Stadium

OSPREYS

  • 15. Cai Evans, 
  • 14. Hanno Dirksen, 
  • 13. Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, 
  • 12. Scott Williams, 
  • 11. Tom Williams, 
  • 10. Luke Price, 
  • 9. Shaun Venter, 
  • 1. Rhodri Jones, 
  • 2. Scott Otten, 
  • 3. Ma’afu Fia , 
  • 4. Marvin Orie, 
  • 5. Lloyd Ashley, 
  • 6. Dan Lydiate (c), 
  • 7. Olly Cracknell, 
  • 8. Morgan Morris.

Replacements:

  • 16. Ifan Phillips, 
  • 17. Nicky Smith, 
  • 18. Gheorghe Gajion, 
  • 19. Bradley Davies, 
  • 20. Sam Cross, 
  • 21. Aled Davies, 
  • 22. James Hook, 
  • 23. Kieran Williams,

MUNSTER RUGBY

  • 15. Mike Haley, 
  • 14. Andrew Conway, 
  • 13. Chris Farrell, 
  • 12. Rory Scannell, 
  • 11. Keith Earls, 
  • 10. Tyler Bleyendaal, 
  • 9. Conor Murray, 
  • 1. Jeremy Loughman, 
  • 2. Niall Scannell, 
  • 3. John Ryan, 
  • 4. Jean Kleyn, 
  • 5. Billy Holland, 
  • 6. Peter O’Mahony (c), 
  • 7. Tommy O’Donnell, 
  • 8. CJ Stander.

Replacements:

  • 16. Kevin O’Byrne, 
  • 17. James Cronin, 
  • 18. Stephen Archer, 
  • 19. Tadhg Beirne, 
  • 20. Arno Botha, 
  • 21. Alby Mathewson, 
  • 22. Sam Arnold, 
  • 23. Dan Goggin,

Referee: Karl Dickson (England)

AR1: Ian Tempest (England)

AR2: Paul Dix (England)

TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Munster by 27

ASM Clermont Auvergne v Harlequins

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 18:30 

Venue: Stade Marcel-Michelin

ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE

  • 15. Nick Abendanon, 
  • 14. Peter Betham, 
  • 13. Isaiah Toeava, 
  • 12. George Moala, 
  • 11. Alivereti Raka, 
  • 10. Camille Lopez, 
  • 9. Morgan Parra (c), 
  • 1. Etienne Falgoux, 
  • 2. John Ulugia, 
  • 3. Rabah Slimani, 
  • 4. Paul Jedrasiak, 
  • 5. Sitaleki Timani, 
  • 6. Peceli Yato, 
  • 7. Alexandre Fischer, 
  • 8. Fritz Lee.

Replacements:

  • 16. Mike Tadjer, 
  • 17. Loni Uhila, 
  • 18. Davit Zirakashvili, 
  • 19. Thibault Lanen, 
  • 20. Clement Lanen, 
  • 21. Greig Laidlaw, 
  • 22. Jake McIntyre, 
  • 23. Apisai Naqalevu,

HARLEQUINS

  • 15. Mike Brown, 
  • 14. Cadan Murley, 
  • 13. James Lang, 
  • 12. Francis Saili, 
  • 11. Gabriel Ibitoye, 
  • 10. Marcus Smith, 
  • 9. Danny Care, 
  • 1. Santiago Garcia Botta, 
  • 2. Scott Baldwin, 
  • 3. Simon Kerrod, 
  • 4. Glen Young, 
  • 5. Matt Symons, 
  • 6. Chris Robshaw (c), 
  • 7. Will Evans, 
  • 8. Tom Lawday.

Replacements:

  • 16. Elia Elia, 
  • 17. Mark Lambert, 
  • 18. Phil Swainston, 
  • 19. Tex Cavubati , 
  • 20. Renaldo Bothma, 
  • 21. Martin Landajo, 
  • 22. Michele Campagnaro, 
  • 23. Ross Chisholm,

Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)

AR1: Mike English (Wales)

AR2: Gareth Newman (Wales)

TMO: Sean Brickell (Wales)

Broadcasters: beIN SPORTS / BT Sport

Prediction – Clermont by 17

Connacht Rugby v Montpellier

Date: Sun 17 November 2019 KO: 13:00 

Venue: The Sportsground

CONNACHT RUGBY

  • 15. Darragh Leader, 
  • 14. Niyi Adeolokun, 
  • 13. Kyle Godwin, 
  • 12. Bundee Aki, 
  • 11. Matt Healy, 
  • 10. Jack Carty, 
  • 9. Caolin Blade, 
  • 1. Denis Buckley, 
  • 2. Tom McCartney, 
  • 3. Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 
  • 4. Cillian Gallagher, 
  • 5. Ultan Dillane, 
  • 6. Colby Fainga’a, 
  • 7. Jarrad Butler (c), 
  • 8. Paul Boyle.

Replacements:

  • 16. David Heffernan, 
  • 17. Matthew Burke, 
  • 18. Conor Kenny, 
  • 19. Eoghan Masterson, 
  • 20. Robin Copeland, 
  • 21. Stephen Kerins, 
  • 22. Tom Daly, 
  • 23. John Porch,

MONTPELLIER

  • 15. Anthony Bouthier, 
  • 14. Gabriel N’gandebe, 
  • 13. Arthur Vincent, 
  • 12. Jan Serfontein, 
  • 11. Yvan Reilhac, 
  • 10. Aaron Cruden, 
  • 9. Benoit Paillaugue (c), 
  • 1. Mikheil Nariashvili, 
  • 2. Youri Delhommel, 
  • 3. Mohamed Haouas, 
  • 4. Nico Janse van Rensburg, 
  • 5. Paul Willemse, 
  • 6. Kelian Galletier, 
  • 7. Yacouba Camara, 
  • 8. Caleb Timu.

Replacements:

  • 16. Bismarck Du Plessis, 
  • 17. Grégory Fichten, 
  • 18. Jannie Du Plessis, 
  • 19. Fulgence Ouedraogo, 
  • 20. Enzo Sanga, 
  • 21. Julien Bardy, 
  • 22. Henry Immelman, 
  • 23. Jacques Du Plessis,

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)

AR1: Hamish Smales (England)

AR2: Simon McConnell (England)

TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Connacht by 5

Northampton Saints v Lyon

Date: Sun 17 November 2019 KO: 13:00 

Venue: Franklin’s Gardens

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS

  • 15. George Furbank, 
  • 14. Tom Collins, 
  • 13. Rory Hutchinson, 
  • 12. Piers Francis, 
  • 11. Taqele Naiyaravoro, 
  • 10. Dan Biggar, 
  • 9. Cobus Reinach, 
  • 1. Alex Waller (c), 
  • 2. Mikey Haywood, 
  • 3. Ehren Painter, 
  • 4. David Ribbans, 
  • 5. Courtney Lawes, 
  • 6. Tom Wood, 
  • 7. Lewis Ludlam, 
  • 8. Teimana Harrison.

Replacements:

  • 16. James Fish, 
  • 17. Francois van Wyk, 
  • 18. Owen Franks, 
  • 19. Api Ratuniyarawa, 
  • 20. Jamie Gibson, 
  • 21. James Mitchell, 
  • 22. Matt Proctor, 
  • 23. Ahsee Tuala,

LYON

  • 15. Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 
  • 14. Josua Tuisova, 
  • 13. Pierre-Louis Barassi, 
  • 12. Charlie Ngatai, 
  • 11. Noa Nakaitaci, 
  • 10. Pato Fernandez, 
  • 9. Jonathan Pélissié (c), 
  • 1. Raphael Chaume, 
  • 2. Jeremie Maurouard, 
  • 3. Clément Ric, 
  • 4. Killian Geraci, 
  • 5. Loann Goujon, 
  • 6. Liam Gill, 
  • 7. Patrick Sobela, 
  • 8. Carl Fearns.

Replacements:

  • 16. Mickael Ivaldi, 
  • 17. Hamza Kaabèche, 
  • 18. Demba Bamba, 
  • 19. Hendrik Roodt, 
  • 20. Virgile Bruni, 
  • 21. Baptiste Couilloud, 
  • 22. Jonathan Wisniewski, 
  • 23. Thibaut Regard,

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)

AR1: George Clancy (Ireland)

AR2: Robert O’Sullivan (Ireland)

TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Lyon by 4

Racing 92 v Saracens

Date: Sun 17 November 2019 KO: 16:15 

Venue: Paris La Defense Arena

RACING 92

  • 15. Brice Dulin, 
  • 14. Teddy Thomas, 
  • 13. Virimi Vakatawa, 
  • 12. Henry Chavancy (c), 
  • 11. Juan Imhoff, 
  • 10. Finn Russell, 
  • 9. Maxime Machenaud, 
  • 1. Eddy Ben Arous, 
  • 2. Camille Chat, 
  • 3. Cedate Gomes Sa, 
  • 4. Donnacha Ryan, 
  • 5. Boris Palu, 
  • 6. Wenceslas Lauret, 
  • 7. Baptiste Chouzenoux, 
  • 8. Antonie Claassen.

Replacements:

  • 16. Teddy Baubigny, 
  • 17. Hassane Kolingar, 
  • 18. Ali Oz, 
  • 19. Dominic Bird, 
  • 20. Yoan Tanga, 
  • 21. Teddy Iribaren, 
  • 22. Ben Volavola, 
  • 23. Simon Zebo,

SARACENS

  • 15. Matt Gallagher, 
  • 14. Sean Maitland, 
  • 13. Alex Lozowski, 
  • 12. Nick Tompkins, 
  • 11. Roti Segun, 
  • 10. Manu Vunipola, 
  • 9. Ben Spencer, 
  • 1. Rhys Carre, 
  • 2. Jack Singleton , 
  • 3. Titi Lamositele, 
  • 4. Will Skelton, 
  • 5. Callum Hunter-Hill, 
  • 6. Nick Isiekwe, 
  • 7. Ben Earl, 
  • 8. Jackson Wray (c).

Replacements:

  • 16. Joe Gray, 
  • 17. Sam Crean, 
  • 18. Vincent Koch, 
  • 19. Joel Kpoku, 
  • 20. Sean Reffell, 
  • 21. Tom Whiteley, 
  • 22. Damian Willemse, 
  • 23. Duncan Taylor,

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)

AR1: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland)

AR2: Paul Haycock (Ireland)

TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

Broadcasters: FR2 / beIN SPORTS / BT Sport

Prediction – Racing by 10

Let us know if you agree / disagree with our predictions on our Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

Champions Cup

Ulster make changes for Toulouse

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ulster match-day squad has been named for the Second Leg of the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 versus Toulouse at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday evening.

Nick Timoney will make his 100th appearance for the Ulster men, as he is named to start at openside – with Marcus Rea at blindside and Duane Vermeulen at Number Eight. Andrew Warwick comes in to start at loosehead, and will pack down with Rob Herring at hooker and Marty Moore at tighthead. Captain Iain Henderson will partner with Alan O’Connor in the engine room.

Mike Lowry and Rob Baloucoune, who signed new 3-year contract extensions this week, are named at full-back and on the right wing respectively. Ethan McIlroy returns to take the left-wing starting berth. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume will form the midfield partnership, and John Cooney and Billy Burns are retained at scrum-half and out-half.

Brad Roberts, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell and Jordi Murphy will provide forward reinforcements, while Nathan Doak, Luke Marshall and Rob Lyttle will offer back line cover.

Ulster team to play Toulouse, Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 Second Leg, Saturday 16 April at Kingspan Stadium, 8pm kick-off, live on BT Sport, beIN Sports, and Sky Italia:

(15-9) Mike Lowry, Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.), Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Jordi Murphy, Nathan Doak, Luke Marshall, Rob Lyttle.

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Champions Cup

Graham Rowntree Confirmed As Next Munster Head Coach

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to confirm that Graham Rowntree will be promoted from Forwards Coach to the role of Head Coach from July 1, 2022.

Rowntree will commence the role of Head Coach at the start of the 2022/23 season after signing a two-year deal.

The former England prop made the move to Limerick in October 2019 on completion of his Rugby World Cup coaching duties with Georgia Rugby.

In his third season as Forwards Coach Graham and family have settled well into Limerick life, noting earlier this year, “I have made my thoughts about this club widely known throughout my time so far, and for me and my family it really has been an easy decision, a non-decision if truth be told.

“We’ve put down roots here and have no desire to move anywhere else.”

With an impressive coaching CV and vast experience, Rowntree previously held coaching roles with the British and Irish Lions, England Rugby, Harlequins and Leicester Tigers.

Working closely with the IRFU, the province will advance with next steps in securing the backroom team that will work with Graham from next season as Head Coach Johann van Graan, Senior Coach Stephen Larkham, and Defence Coach JP Ferreira depart the province at the end of June.

IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora, commented, “I would like to thank the Munster Professional Game Committee for their work and diligence during this process.

“It is important that Munster have someone who understands the unique history and culture of the club and has the experience to maximise the talent in the squad.

“Graham was very impressive throughout this process and demonstrated he has the capabilities to spearhead the next chapter of Munster Rugby.”

On confirmation of the promotion, Graham Rowntree added, “I am hugely honoured to be taking over the role of Head Coach for a club of this calibre, one that means so much to me and my family.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed every moment here and I fortunately get to work with an incredible group of staff and players who share a common goal each day in striving for success for this club.

“I’ve talked about our fantastic supporters before and again at the weekend we stepped off the bus to a huge red welcome in Exeter. Who doesn’t want to be part of that, that’s special!

“I believe we have the established structures in place with the resources and facilities to match and that it will be a smooth transition for the coaching ticket we assemble in ensuring continued development and success for this club.

“Before then I have a role to complete this season and working closely with Johann, Steve, and JP is the immediate focus and priority for now.”

Commenting on the appointment, Munster Rugby CEO Ian Flanagan said, “Graham’s extensive coaching experience and knowledge for the game makes him the perfect candidate to lead this squad forward.

“With Graham stepping up at the start of the new season it will be a seamless and natural progression from the work that has been carried out to-date.

“For now, we will continue our focus on the remainder of this season with Graham supporting Johann and the coaching staff in achieving our goals.”

Munster Rugby Home Fixtures

Saturday, April 16

Champions Cup Round of 16: Munster v Exeter Chiefs, Thomond Park, 3pm; Buy tickets here

Friday, April 29

URC: Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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Champions Cup

Ulster name team for Toulouse

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ulster match-day squad has been selected for the first leg of the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 versus Toulouse at Le Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Ben Moxham will make his first European start for Ulster as he is named on the left wing alongside Mike Lowry at full-back and Robert Baloucoune on the right wing. Stuart McCloskey comes in to start and will partner with James Hume in the centre. Billy Burns and John Cooney return to form the half-back pairing.

The front row sees Eric O’Sullivan and Rob Herring named at loosehead and hooker, with Marty Moore retaining his place at tighthead prop. Alan O’Connor returns to pair up with captain Iain Henderson in the second row. Marcus Rea comes in at blindside flanker, with Nick Timoney and Duane Vermeulen retained at openside and Number Eight respectively.

Brad Roberts, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell and Jordi Murphy provide the forward reinforcements on the bench. Nathan Doak, Luke Marshall and Rob Lyttle will offer the back line options.

Ulster team to play Toulouse, Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 First Leg, Saturday 9 April at Le Stadium, 3.15pm kick-off (UK / IRE time), live on BT Sport, beIN Sports, FR2:

(15-9) Mike Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ben Moxham, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.), Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Jordi Murphy, Nathan Doak, Luke Marshall, Rob Lyttle.

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