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Pro14

3 Welsh Grand Slammers sign new contracts.

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Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Big news coming out of Wales.

“Scarlets are delighted to announce that three of Wales’ Grand Slam heroes have signed new contracts.”

Jonathan Davies, Ken Owens and Rob Evans have agreed new deals to extend their stay with their home region.

The international trio have come through the academy system at the Scarlets and were key members of the side that lifted the Guinness PRO12 trophy in 2017.

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said:

“I am delighted that Rob, Ken and Jon have re-signed for the Scarlets.”

“They have been a big part of our success in recent years and I know that our incoming coach Brad (Mooar) was very keen to secure their services moving forward.

“It is great news for the Scarlets.”

Davies has played 154 matches for the Scarlets since making his debut in August 2006.

He has gone on to become one of the leading centres in world rugby and was named the British and Irish Lions player of the series in 2017.

“I could not be happier to be staying with the Scarlets,” he said.

“I am excited about the end of the season and having spoken to our new coach Brad, excited about what is to come.

“It is something I want to be part of.

“You want to be playing in the big competitions and competing for trophies and we have been doing that at the Scarlets.

“I am delighted to have signed a new contract.”

Owens was a Lions Test player in 2017 and won his 64th Wales cap against Ireland last weekend.

The talismanic hooker has made 238 appearances for the Scarlets since making his debut against Northampton Saints in 2016.

Owens has captained the Scarlets since 2014.

He said: “I am delighted to have signed an extension to my contract.

“I am looking forward to a big end of season and building on the success we have achieved in recent years.”

Evans is another who has been at the heart of the Scarlets’ success.

The Pembrokshire product has made 118 appearances since making his debut in January 2013 and was named in the Guinness PRO14’s dream team last season.

“I love playing here, you are playing with your mates and there’s a great spirit in the squad,” said Evans.

“I have been proud to be part of the success we have achieved over the last few years.

“I want to keep playing for Wales and there is no other side in Wales I would want to play for.

“This is an exciting time to be involved with the Scarlets. I am looking forward to pulling on a Scarlets jersey again and helping us get into the play-offs for another season.”

Scarlets general manager of rugby Jon Daniels added: “We are delighted to have key players like Jon, Ken and Rob sign new deals.

“All three are from West Wales, are proud of their roots and have played a huge part in our success in recent seasons.

“As Scarlets we are equally proud to see them achieve what they have on the international stage and for all three to sign new contracts is an indication of our ambition over the coming years.”

Pro14

Ulster & Leinster names teams for PRO14 Clash

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Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ulster match-day squad to host Leinster tomorrow night at Kingspan Stadium has been named (kick-off 7.35pm).

Having returned from injury off the bench last Friday against Ospreys, Robert Baloucoune comes into the starting back three, joining Jacob Stockdale on the left wing and Michael Lowry at full-back. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume have retained their starting berths in midfield. John Cooney and Ian Madigan are named at half-back.

In the front row, both Eric O’Sullivan and Tom O’Toole come in to start at loosehead and tighthead prop respectively, with John Andrew retaining his place at hooker. Alan O’Connor and Kieran Treadwell will partner up in the second row. Marcell Coetzee makes his return from injury to start at Number Eight, and is named alongside Nick Timoney and skipper, Jordi Murphy.

Adam McBurney, Andrew Warwick, Marty Moore, Cormac Izuchukwu and Sean Reidy will offer forwards cover on the bench, with Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore and Rob Lyttle providing the back line options. 

Ulster team to play Leinster Rugby, Guinness PRO14 Round 14, Saturday 6 March at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm, live on Premier Sports): 

(15-9) Michael Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Ian Madigan, John Cooney.

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, John Andrew, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Nick Timoney, Jordi Murphy (Capt.), Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Andrew Warwick, Marty Moore, Cormac Izuchukwu, Sean Reidy, Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle.

Leinster also have announced their team.

Academy back Max O’Reilly starts at full-back for his fifth cap of the season, with try-scorer from last week Cian Kelleher on the right wing and Dave Kearney on the left. Kearney has seven tries in 12 games so far this season.

Rory O’Loughlin starts in the number 12 jersey this week, with Jimmy O’Brien wearing the number 13 outside him.

Captain McGrath is joined this week by Ross Byrne who was released by Andy Farrell to Leinster during the week.

Ed Byrne is another released back to Leinster and he starts at loosehead, with James Tracy at hooker and Michael Bent at tighthead.

Devin Toner and Scott Fardy are the second row combination for Cullen’s side for the second week in a row, as Toner gets ever closer to Gordon D’Arcy’s all-time Leinster caps record of 261.

In the back row, Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier are the final two available to Cullen having been released back to the province and they start at blindside and openside, with Guinness Man of the Match from last week, Scott Penny, completing the starting XV for Leinster Rugby.

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6 Nations

Cian Healy signs short term extension

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Ireland and Leinster loosehead prop Cian Healy has signed a 1 year extension to his IRFU contract up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

Cian is Ireland’s most capped prop forward having lined out for Ireland on 107 occasions to date. He made his Ireland debut against Australia in November 2009 and was selected for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia making two appearances before injury ended his involvement.

Cian has won three Six Nations titles with Ireland and represented Leinster on 226 occasions winning four Heineken Cup titles during his career in blue.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Cian has been a cornerstone of both the Irish and Leinster packs for over a decade.  He has shown incredible resilience to come back from serious injury and perform at the highest level.  Cian has a lot to contribute to Irish Rugby and we are delighted that he has signed on for another year.”

Cian Healy, commented,

“My drive for success at both Leinster and Ireland is as strong as ever.  I am lucky enough to currently be part to two teams with the same mentality which is special and I look forward to another season of pushing boundaries and achieving our goals.

I’m loving my rugby as much now as I did at the very start of my career and looking forward to having our supporters back in stadia.”

Article from Irish Rugby

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6 Nations

O’Mahony Signs Contract Extension with IRFU

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Ireland and Munster backrow Peter O’Mahony has signed a two year extension to his IRFU contract keeping him at Munster until 2023.

Peter made his Ireland debut in the Six Nations against Italy in 2012 and has gone on to win 74 caps and captain his country on eight occasions.  A Lions tourist in 2017, Peter captained the Lions in the opening Test of the series against New Zealand.

Peter has represented Munster on 141 occasions becoming captain of his province in 2013 at the age of 24.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Peter has played a leadership role in Munster from an early age and is one of the senior leaders in the national squad.  He is a competitor and passionate about playing for both Ireland and Munster.”

Peter O’Mahony, commented,

“It’s a huge privilege to sign on with the province and country I’ve grown up in and dreamed of playing for. It’s been something I’ve been very open about saying from day one and its very pleasing to be able to continue the journey for two more years.

There’s a huge amount of responsibility that comes with representing both teams and I understand how much pressure there is to deliver silverware, however, I am incredibly enthusiastic on the position and competitiveness of both Munster and Ireland and I look forward to hopefully contributing to both, to succeed in delivering that success on the pitch.”

Irish Rugby

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