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Pro14

Leinster Change Eight for Ospreys Trip

Leinster have changed eight of their starting XV for this weekend’s PRO14 clash with the Ospreys

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(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made eight changes to his starting line-up for tomorrow’s PRO14 game against the Ospreys at the Gnoll at 19 35.

Following last weekend’s victory of the Cheetahs Cullen has made three changes to the pack and a further five in the backs as the team go in search of a 12th win in a row in the competition. 

In the front-row James Tracy comes in to replace Ronan Kelleher at hooker and has Peter Dooley and Michael Bent either side of him, while Ross Molony joins captain Scott Fardy in the second-row. 

Josh Murphy comes in at blindside-flanker, with Scott Penny handed a start on the openside, as Rhys Ruddock shifts from the flank to No 8. 

Jamison Gibson-Park takes the place of Luke McGrath to link-up with Ciaran Frawley in the half-backs, with Conor O’Brien being handed the inside-centre role as Jimmy O’Brien continues at outside-centre. 

It’s a whole new back-three with James Lowe returning to the left-wing, as Cian Kelleher takes his place on the right and Hugo Keenan completes the starting XV from full-back. 

On the bench there are a number of young players with the likes of Michael Milne, Ryan Baird, Rowan Osborne and Harry Byrne among the replacements. 

Speaking ahead of the game full-back Keenan has warned his side that that they must be wary of the Ospreys despite their poor start to the season as they will be confident following a rare win last weekend. 

“Ospreys are coming off a great win against Ulster there so their tails are up, so it will be a big challenge,” he said. 

Leinster head into the game looking to extend their winning streak so far this season to 18 matches, but the Ospreys will be out to cause an upset and the boys in blue will be well aware that they will have to be at their best once again to pick up another victory. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below. 

Starting XV: 

15. Hugo Keenan (12)

14. Cian Kelleher (13)

13. Jimmy O’Brien (15)

12. Conor O’Brien (22)

11. James Lowe (41)

10. Ciarán Frawley (23)

9. Jamison Gibson-Park (86)

1. Peter Dooley (74)

2. James Tracy (106)

3. Michael Bent (133)

4. Ross Molony (94)

5. Scott Fardy (56) (c)

6. Josh Murphy (30)

7. Scott Penny (12)

8. Rhys Ruddock (170)

Replacements:

16. Seán Cronin (179)

17. Michael Milne (6)

18. Jack Aungier (3)

19. Jack Dunne (5)

20. Ryan Baird (5)

21. Rowan Osborne (3)

22. Harry Byrne (7)

23. Tommy O’Brien (2)

6 Nations

Scarlets provide updates on Williams & Owens

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(Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Liam Williams has recovered from a foot injury that has prevented him playing for the Scarlets so far this season. He has been released from the Wales squad to train with the Scarlets ahead of Friday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Benetton.

Ken Owens has undergone surgery on the shoulder injury he sustained against Glasgow and it is expected he will be unavailable for three to four months.

Josh Macleod has started his rehabilitation for a hamstring injury sustained against Glasgow. He will be targeting a return to play in December.

Scarlets also confirmed that Sam Lousi has been banned for a period of four weeks as a result of his red card in the Guinness PRO14 clash with Glasgow Warriors.

Lousi was shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy (IRFU) under Law 9.13 – a Player must not tackle an opponent early, late, or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling, or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulder even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

The disciplinary hearing was handled by Roddy Dunlop (Scotland) and it was accepted that the player’s actions warranted a red card for foul play. The incident was deemed a mid-range offence, which carries a six-week suspension.

Due to the player’s previous disciplinary record (red card for punching incident, February 2020) the judicial officer could not offer full mitigation therefore, resulting in a four-week suspension.

Lousi is free to resume playing from midnight on November 9, 2020

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Pro14

Marcus Rea to start for Ulster v Ospreys

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Marcus Rea will make his first start for Ulster on Saturday evening, in the Guinness PRO14 Round 2 trip to play Ospreys at Liberty Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm). 

The 23-year-old – who was Player of the Match in his sole previous Ulster appearance as a replacement against Leinster in April 2019 – has been named at openside flanker. Marcus’s older brother Matty – Player of the Match in last weekend’s bonus point win over Benetton – is named alongside him at blindside, with Marcell Coetzee once again packing down at number eight. 

Jack McGrath, Rob Herring and Marty Moore have been given the front row starting berths, and Alan O’Connor has been selected along with captain Iain Henderson in the second row. 

Matt Faddes returns to the starting side on the right wing and will join Jacob Stockdale at full-back and Rob Lyttle on the left wing. Last week’s midfield duo of Stewart Moore and James Hume has been retained. Ian Madigan comes in to start at fly-half, pairing with John Cooney at scrum-half. 

The coaching team has opted for a 6-2 bench split. Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones and Sean Reidy provide the forward options, with David Shanahan and Louis Ludik offering back line cover.  

Ulster team to play Ospreys Rugby, Guinness PRO14 Round 2, Saturday 10 October 2020, at Liberty Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm, live on Premier Sports):   

(15-9) Jacob Stockdale, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle, Ian Madigan, John Cooney.  (1-8) Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.) , Matthew Rea, Marcus Rea, Marcell Coetzee.  Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Louis Ludik, Sean Reidy. 

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Pro14

Munster confirm COVID-19 case. Training suspended.

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster Rugby have been assisting a senior player who has tested positive for Covid-19.

The latest PCR testing carried out on Monday at the HPC has returned a positive result for a player who is asymptomatic. To remove any doubt of a potential false positive the player will be retested tomorrow.
The individual, who was not part of the travelling group at the weekend, and six other players identified by Munster Rugby as potential close contacts, are currently self-isolating.

This approach of identifying possible close contacts is in line with the caution we have taken to this issue, these players may not be deemed close contacts by the HSE.

As a precautionary measure, the squad and academy will not train at the HPC today.
The HSE have been notified for contract tracing purposes.

Further PCR testing will take place tomorrow at the HPC with a return to scheduled training planned for Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 encounter against Edinburgh at Thomond Park.

Munster Rugby Head of Medical, Dr Jamie Kearns, said: “As an immediacy we are taking every precaution by standing down training today.

“We are going to complete another round of PCR testing tomorrow so that we can return to training on Thursday.

“Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our players and staff, and we will continue to work closely with both the IRFU and HSE in this regard.”

Statement from Munster Rugby

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