The changes see Dave Kearney come in on the right-wing, with Max Deegan starting at blindside-flanker and Scott Penny joins Deegan in the back-row making his first start of the season on the openside.
Otherwise it’s as you were with Peter Dooley opening in the front-row alongside last weekend’s hat-trick hero Ronan Kelleher and Michael Bent, as Devin Toner links up with captain Scott Fardy in the engine-room.
Deegan and Penny are on the flanks as mentioned above with the back-row being completed by the ever-improving Caelan Doris, who is at No 8.
Jamison Gibson-Park and Ross Byrne continue their impressive half-back partnership, with Joe Tomane and Rory O’Loughlin outside them in the midfield as they too look to continue a fine start to the season as a pair.
James Lowe retains his spot on the left-wing, with Kearney on the right as he looks to add to his hat-trick of tries from the opening weekend and Hugo Keenan completes the starting XV from full-back.
Once again Michael Milne and Harry Byrne take places on the bench as they both seek to get on for their third caps after impressing in the opening two games, with an experienced duo of James Tracy and Ross Molony also among the replacements.
Both the hosts and the away side have 100% records in the competition so far, however, Leinster put in a huge performance last weekend in what was there first home game of the season, blowing the Ospreys away 53-5 and will hope to pick up maximum points again as they bid to win a third PRO14 crown in a row.
Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.
15. Hugo Keenan (7)
14. Dave Kearney (137)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (63)
12. Joe Tomane (15)
11. James Lowe (31)
10. Ross Byrne (73)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (72)
1. Peter Dooley (63)
2. Rónan Kelleher (4)
3. Michael Bent (126)
4. Devin Toner (233)
5. Scott Fardy (45) CAPTAIN
6. Max Deegan (48)
7. Scott Penny (6)
8. Caelan Doris (18)
16. James Tracy (94)
17. Michael Milne (2)
18. Vakh Abdaladze (9)
19. Ross Molony (84)
20. Josh Murphy (23)
21. Rowan Osborne (1)
22. Harry Byrne (2)
23. Jimmy O’Brien (8)
Zebre Star Receives Small Ban for Biting
Zebre might have claimed a famous away win in the PRO14 last weekend, but it’s not all rosy for the Italian team after one of their players has been handed a ban for biting, although it’s shorter than most would expect
The 24-year-old was expected to be handed a lengthy ban for an act of foul play that is seriously frowned upon in the sport, but after initially being given a 12-week ban it was cut in half due to his previous disciplinary record, his admission of guilt and his conduct throughout the process.
The four-time capped Italian’s ban comes only a week after the exact same ban that was handed down to La Rochelle’s Pierre Bourgarit, who was caught eye-gouging Sale’s Tom Curry in a Champions Cup fixture.
Another one of the worst offences in the game and it was reduced from 12 to six weeks, much for the same reasons as Giammarioli.
Some fans and ex-players will criticise the decision, as it appears a much softer result than in days gone by for offences that could have caused serious harm to opponents.
Dragons Prop Forced to Retire Early
The Dragons have confirmed that one of their players has been forced to retire due to a freak training ground injury
Dragons prop Jack Cosgrove has decided to retire from rugby due to injury the club have confirmed.
At only 25-years of age Cosgrove has been forced to retire early due to an eye injury that he sustained during a training session back in October.
Having only joined the Welsh outfit in the summer it is a big blow to Cosgrove and the club wished him all the best in a statement.
“Everyone at the Dragons wishes Jack every success in his future and he will continue to receive professional help and support from the region as he makes the transition from playing,” the statement read.
The player had been through specialist treatment and had medical advice which helped him come to his decision.
Cosgrove came through the Worcester Warriors academy in England before he moved on to Edinburgh in 2015. A move to Bristol in 2017 followed, where he won the Championship on his return to England, before a return to Worcester ahead of his final switch to Dragons.
Ospreys Turn to Ruddock for Morale Boost
The Ospreys have suffered a terrible start to the season but they have turned to a former Grand Slam winner to help change their fortunes
The former Wales international, who won the Grand Slam in 2005, has joined the Welsh outfit on a temporary basis, for now, with a contract until the end of December.
Ospreys managing director Andrew Millward is delighted to have him on board.
“We are delighted to have Mike join us for a month. The coaches and players have all welcomed the decision to draft him in to offer his support and having him play a key role in our review of our rugby operations,” he said.
Ospreys are currently looking to part ways with head coach Allen Clarke in a legally correct manner. Clarke joined on a three-year contract in April 2018, but the results have been below par since and coaches Matt Sherratt and Carl Hogg will come in to take charge on an interim basis which Ruddock will oversee.
However, despite the Ospreys claim that Ruddock will come in on a short-term deal, the feeling is that he will take full control once Clarke’s situation is sorted out, with his club Lansdowne adding to that feeling by tweeting that he could stay on after the initial deal.
“With regret but with our full support, we announce that with immediate effect Mike Ruddock has taken a position with Ospreys to become initially a consultant for a month but may turn into a longer commitment. Mike and Ospreys have kept us fully informed at all times,” the tweet read.
Ospreys say they are reviewing their whole rugby operation and figuring out what coaches will stay on for the future to try and improve the club.
The club currently sit joint-bottom of Conference A with Zebre, only being separated by points difference, but Ruddock’s first task will be in the Champions Cup, when the Welsh side face the daunting visit of Racing 92 to Swansea, before the reverse fixture the following week.
Nakarawa Sacked by Racing 92
Stockdale at Full-back for Ulster
Cullen Names Strong Side for Saints Clash
These are class. All the Irish Rugby Gifs
The Low-down on Ulster’s New Signings
2019/20 Season Fixtures & Results
Super Rugby1 week ago
Beale Set for Positional Change at Waratahs
Super Rugby1 week ago
Fans Slate New Crusaders Logo
International1 week ago
Mike Ford Linked with International Job
Pro145 days ago
Is this the cutest thing to happen on a rugby pitch?
International1 week ago
O’Shea Lands RFU Role
Pro141 week ago
Leinster Rest Stars for Glasgow Trip
Rugby5 days ago
Hansen Confirms New Job in Japan
International5 days ago
All Blacks Confirm 2020 Home Fixtures