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Edinburgh Continue Impressive Week of Recruitment

Edinburgh fans will be delighted with the club’s work this week as they have announced their second key signing since Monday

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(Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Edinburgh have confirmed the signing of South African scrum-half Nic Groom from Super Rugby franchise the Lions for the 2019/20 season. 

The 29-year-old comes in with a huge amount of experience having played for the Stormers and Northampton Saints as well as the Lions in recent seasons.

Speaking on the move Groom admitted that he has been watching the Scottish side over the past while and is impressed by what he saw.

“I’m really excited to link-up with Edinburgh. I’ve been keeping an eye on their results from South Africa and it’s definitely a club on the rise. I can’t wait to play my role in the seasons to come,” he said.

Groom went on to thank his former side the Lions, for whom he played a key role in the past two seasons but talked of his excitement in moving to Scotland.

“My time at the Lions has been awesome. I’ve had the chance to work with fantastic coaches alongside some great players and I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity they gave me to play for them. From what I’ve heard, Edinburgh is a great place to live and play your rugby. My family can’t wait for the adventure that lies ahead,” he added.

Meanwhile Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill believes that Groom brings something new to the squad and that the club have been keeping an eye on him for some time.

“Nic is a really intelligent player who has consistently been a standout performer during his time in Super Rugby and the English Premiership. That experience in the number nine jersey is obviously key, but Nic’s ability to snipe and create opportunities in and around the fringes brings a different dynamic to our squad, while his addition clearly creates competition for places. We’ve been looking at Nic for a while now, so it’s great to finally welcome him to Edinburgh. We’re really hopeful that he can make a strong impact in the seasons to come,” he said.

Groom becomes Edinburgh’s second signing of the week with 22-year-old Fijian Sevens star Mesulame Kunavula joining on Monday. Fans will be impressed with the club’s work so far in terms of incoming players and Edinburgh are looking ever more like a serious threat ahead of next season.

Pro14

Ulster to welcome 1,000 fans for Scarlets clash

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ulster Rugby last night announced that 1,000 supporters will be welcomed to the Kingspan Stadium this weekend. Statement from Ulster Rugby below:

The doors of Kingspan Stadium will open to 1,000 supporters this weekend when Ulster Rugby welcome Scarlets in Round 7 of the Guinness PRO14 (Sunday 22 November, kick-off 7.35pm).

The Ulster Men have played behind closed doors since the opening game of the season against Benetton Rugby when the club successfully trialled the safe return of spectators following extensive consultation with the IRFU, Belfast City Council and the Northern Ireland Executive.

All 500 pairs of tickets will be made available to #TogetherUlster Members only via an online ballot process. Members who applied for tickets to the Benetton match but missed out due to limited availability will receive priority in the ballot.

Sunday night’s match will feature a mix of seating and terracing in operation across all four stands and the East Terrace. Tickets are again priced at £20 each, allocated in groups of two with two-metre physical distancing factored in.

The online ballot will be open for 24 hours from 1pm on Tuesday 17 November on the Ulster Rugby Ticket Account Manager, and account holders can apply for one pair of tickets per every Adult #TogetherUlster Membership held. All successful applicants will be notified on Wednesday evening once the ballot has closed and tickets have been allocated. Members will then have until 1pm on Thursday 19 November to confirm their ticket purchase and process payment.

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Pro14

Bad news on the injury front for Munster back-rower

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster medical department have issued the latest player update with Liam Coombes, John Hodnett and Alex McHenry all ruled out due to respective injuries.

The young trio sustained knocks in different training sessions and will not be available for this weekend’s clash.

Alex McHenry underwent surgery for a thumb injury and will not be available for the coming weeks, while Liam Coombes has sustained a minor hamstring injury.

Unfortunately, it is a longer-term outlook for John Hodnett who sustained an achilles tendon injury.  The Academy back row will undergo surgery early next week before commencing his rehabilitation programme.

A fourth player is already self-isolating after returning a positive test result from Monday’s PCR testing.  The player remains well, and no other players have been identified as close contacts.

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Pro14

Rea to win 50th cap v Cardiff

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Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Matty Rea is set to make his 50th Ulster appearance in the Guinness PRO14 Round 4 clash against Cardiff Blues at Rodney Parade on Monday (kick-off 6pm).

The 27-year-old Ballymena man made his Ulster debut against the Toyota Cheetahs in September 2017, and has already shown some excellent form this year when collecting the Player of the Match award in the season opener versus Benetton.

Rea will start at blindside flanker, with Jordi Murphy being retained at openside and Nick Timoney coming in to start at number eight. Adam McBurney will make his first start this season at hooker and is joined in the front row by Eric O’Sullivan – who scored his first Ulster try last week – and Marty Moore. Alan O’Connor retains his starting berth in the second row, and will be partnered with Kieran Treadwell, who is also making his first start this season.

Billy Burns will make his return from injury to captain the side at fly-half, alongside John Cooney – who has been released from the Ireland Six Nations squad – at scrum-half.

Burns is one of four changes to the back line, with Stuart McCloskey also being released from international duties to start alongside Stewart Moore in midfield. Michael Lowry comes in to start at full-back, and he will be joined on the wings by Louis Ludik and the returning Craig Gilroy.

Luke Marshall is set to make his return from injury to make his first appearance this season as he is included among the replacements. Alby Mathewson and Academy back three prospect Ethan McIlroy will cover the backline along with Marshall. John Andrew, Jack McGrath, Ross Kane, Sam Carter, and Sean Reidy provide the forward options on the bench.

Ulster team to play Cardiff Blues, Guinness PRO14 Round 4, Monday 2 November 2020, at Rodney Parade (kick-off 6pm, live on Premier Sports):  

Issued by Ulster Rugby

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