Connect with us

Champions Cup

Preview: Leinster Look to Secure Top Spot in Coventry

The return of some key players is not only good for Leinster but Ireland

Published

on

Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Leinster are welcoming back some key men as they play their final Heineken Champions Cup Pool 1 game against Wasps in Coventry, on Sunday.

Ireland internationals Robbie Henshaw, Devin Toner, and Jack McGrath return to the starting line-up for Leinster, while Sean O’Brien could make an appearance from the bench after a spell out due to an injury.

Henshaw and Toner are also coming back from hamstring and ankle injuries respectively. McGrath comes into the starting XV after being on the bench last week.

The match will provide them with some much-needed game time ahead of the Six Nations.

The line-up also sees Leo Cullen stick with his back three of Dave Kearney, Jordan Larmour and Adam Byrne after their impressive displays in Leinster’s 29-13 win over Toulouse.

Ross Byrne starts at fly-half and will have to put the disappointment of not receiving a call up to the Ireland squad behind him. He is partnered by Jamison Gibson-Park at No.9 who replaces the injured Luke McGrath.

On the Wasps side there are a few changes, as Jake Cooper-Wooley replaces Will Stuart at prop, Nizaam Carr comes in for Thomas Young in the back-row, with Gabiriele Lovobalavu taking the place of Juan du Jongh in the centre.

Elsewhere Joshua Bassett switches wings to accommodate Elliot Daly on the opposite wing with Ross Neal missing out.

Wasps are out of the competition already and are sitting bottom of the pool with only four points from five games and return to the field after losing 18-16 to Bath last weekend.

On the other hand, Leinster have already qualified for the last eight thanks to Edinburgh’s win over Montpellier last night, but they still have sights on topping the group and claiming a home quarter-final.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference returning lock Toner warned of the threat Wasps pose.

“Wasps have nothing to lose coming out against us. With us, how we’ve gone last year and how we’ve been playing, we have a big target on our backs. Everyone loves coming up against us these days and it’s a great marker for them to put down a good performance against us”, he said.

Toner’s comments will remind his team mates that they are in poll position to take top spot in Pool 1, but Toulouse will be waiting in the wings for any slip-up as Wasps look to regain some pride.

Challenge Cup

Ulster name team for Northampton Quarter-Final trip

Published

on

Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ulster coaching team has named the match-day squad for the trip to face Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday (kick-off 8pm).

Michael Lowry is named to start at full-back, and is joined in the back three by Jacob Stockdale and Robert Baloucoune. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume will form the midfield duo, and Billy Burns and John Cooney are the starting half-backs.

In the front row, Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring and Marty Moore retain their starting berths. Alan O’Connor will partner Kieran Treadwell in the second row. Last week’s Player of the Match, Sean Reidy, will start at blindside flanker, with Jordi Murphy skippering the team at openside and Nick Timoney at Number Eight.

John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea and Greg Jones will provide the forward reinforcements from the bench, with Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan and Ethan McIlroy named as the back line options.

Ulster team to play Northampton Saints, Challenge Cup Quarter-Final, Saturday 10 April at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 8pm, live on BT Sport):

(15-9) Michael Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy (Capt.), Nick Timoney.

Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, Greg Jones, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.

Continue Reading

Champions Cup

Big names miss out for Ulster

Published

on

(Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Ulster match-day squad to face Gloucester tomorrow afternoon in Round 2 of the Heineken Champions Cup has been named (Kingsholm Stadium, kick-off 3.15pm).  

The back line sees just one change from the side that played Toulouse last Friday. Michael Lowry, Jacob Stockdale and Matt Faddes all retain their positions in the back three. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume are the starting midfield duo. Billy Burns returns at fly-half and will captain the side; he will partner John Cooney at scrum-half.  

The front row remains unchanged for this game. Rob Herring is named at hooker, with Eric O’Sullivan and Marty Moore packing down at loosehead and tighthead prop. Alan O’Connor will partner with his brother David – who will make his first Heineken Champions Cup start with Sam Carter missing out through concussion. Sean Reidy has been selected at blindside, with Jordi Murphy returning at openside. Nick Timoney comes in to start at Number Eight to replace the injured Marcel Coetzee.

John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, and Greg Jones are the forward bench options. Academy player, Ethan McIlroy could make his European debut if called upon from the bench, and is named alongside Alby Mathewson and Ian Madigan in the back line replacements.    

Ulster team to play Gloucester, Heineken Champions Cup Round 2, Saturday 19 December 2020 at Kingsholm Stadium, kick-off 3.15pm, live on BT Sport / beIN Sport:  

(15-9) Michael Lowry, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns (Capt.), John Cooney; 

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, David O’Connor, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney. 

Replacements: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, Greg Jones, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.  

Continue Reading

Champions Cup

Ulster name strong side to face Toulouse

Published

on

(Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Ulster coaching team has named the match-day squad for the province’s opening Pool game of the 2020-21 Heineken Champions Cup against Toulouse on Friday (kick-off 8pm, Kingspan Stadium). 

In the back three, Jacob Stockdale returns from international duty to the left wing, joining Michael Lowry at full-back and Matt Faddes on the right wing. In midfield, Stuart McCloskey also returns from the Ireland squad to partner with James Hume. Ian Madigan has been named at fly-half alongside John Cooney at scrum-half. 

Having made his international debut against Scotland last week, Eric O’Sullivan, comes in to take the starting berth at loosehead prop. Rob Herring also returns from Ireland duties and is named at hooker, with Marty Moore retaining his position at tighthead. Alan O’Connor will partner with Sam Carter, who will lead the side from the second row. Sean Reidy and Jordi Murphy are named at blindside and openside, with Marcell Coetzee completing the pack at Number Eight. 

John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, and Matty Rea provide the forward options, with Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore and Craig Gilroy offering back line cover from the bench. 

Ulster team to play Toulouse, Heineken Champions Cup Round 1, Friday 11 December 2020 at Kingspan Stadium, kick-off 8pm, live on BT Sport / beIN Sport:

(15-9) Michael Lowry, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Ian Madigan, John Cooney; 

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter (Capt.), Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee. 

Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, Matty Rea, Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore, Craig Gilroy.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending