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Leinster’s Internationals Back for Connacht Clash

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has been able to bring back some of his Irish internationals to his squad for their game against Connacht this weekend



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Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has brought in six Irish internationals to his squad for his side’s first inter-provincial derby in the PRO14 against Connacht at the Showgrounds tomorrow at 19 35.

Having started the season perfectly the stars will need to come back in seamlessly as the younger players have been hugely impressive in their absence. 

Robbie Henshaw, Luke McGrath, Cian Healy and Andrew Porter have all come straight into the starting line-up, while Rhys Ruddock and Rob Kearney take up places on the bench. 

With that in mind it means that Healy and Porter join Ronan Kelleher in the front-row, with Devin Toner and captain Scott Fardy once again in the second-row. 

Josh Murphy is at blindside-flanker, with Will Connors at openside and Max Deegan completes the pack from No 8. 

McGrath links up with Ross Byrne in the half-backs, with Byrne having watched younger brother Harry star last weekend during their win over the Dragons, while Joe Tomane is joined by Henshaw in the midfield pairing. 

James Lowe remains on the left-wing, with Adam Bryne taking over from Dave Kearney on the right, while Hugo Keenan returns from an ankle injury to come back in at full-back. 

There is a huge amount of experience on the bench for the reigning back to back champions with the likes of Michael Bent and Jamison Gibson-Park joining Ruddock and Kearney among the replacements. 

Leinster are looking to make it six wins from six at the start of the new PRO14 season with victory on Friday night as they attempt to extend their lead at the top of Conference A, while for Connacht they have a chance to go top of Conference B for at least 24 hours if they claim the win. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

Starting XV:

15. Hugo Keenan (9)

14. Adam Byrne (54)

13. Robbie Henshaw (37)

12. Joe Tomane (17)

11. James Lowe (33)

10. Ross Byrne (75)

9. Luke McGrath (113)

1. Cian Healy (208)

2. Rónan Kelleher (6)

3. Andrew Porter (53)

4. Devin Toner (235)

5. Scott Fardy (47) (C)

6. Josh Murphy (25)

7. Will Connors (8)

8. Max Deegan (51)


16. James Tracy (97)

17. Ed Byrne (45)

18. Michael Bent (129)

19. Ross Molony (87)

20. Rhys Ruddock (161)

21. Jamison Gibson-Park (75)

22. Ciarán Frawley (15)

23. Rob Kearney (210)

6 Nations

Scarlets provide updates on Williams & Owens



(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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Marcus Rea to start for Ulster v Ospreys



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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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Munster confirm COVID-19 case. Training suspended.



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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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