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PREVIEW: Munster Make Seven Changes for Scarlets

Strong Scarlets team too.

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Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Munster and Scarlets have both made changes for their clash at Parc y Scarlets at 17 00 tomorrow.

Munster will be looking to make it eight wins on the bounce and have welcomed back a couple of key men to the starting line-up while the Welsh side have five internationals returning.

Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshell and John Ryan, who is back from Ireland duty, start in the front-row for the visitors.

Jean Kleyn comes back into the pack having missed last week’s game through illness and will partner captain Billy Holland in the second-row.

Making up the pack are Fineen Wycherley, Conor Oliver and Arno Botha, at six, seven and eight respectively.

The out-half pairing has been switched up once more by the Irish province with Alby Mathewson and Bill Johnston coming in at No 9 and 10.

Rory Scannell will become the youngest player to reach 100 caps for Munster, having turned 25 in December, when he lines out beside Dan Goggin in the centre.

The back-three is made up of Darren Sweetnam, Ronan O’Mahony on the wings and full-back Mike Haley, who is in fine form at the moment.

The men in red have some experienced players to call on from the bench if needed such as Stephen Archer, Tyler Bleyendaal and Jaco Taute.

Speaking ahead of the game head coach Johann Van Graan has talked about the happiness in the club with their current form but sees room for improvement.

“We’re happy, we’ve won our last seven games in a row, and we’ve won five out of our last seven away. So, we’re pretty happy with our current form, but we’ve a lot to improve on from last weekend,” he said.

On the other side, the Scarlets have been able to recall Leigh Halfpeeny, Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Rhys Patchell and Steff Evans from Wales duty.

Jones and Elias are joined by Werner Kruger in the front three with Josh Helps and Lewis Rawlins slotting in behind.

While Josh Macleod, Dan Davis and Uzair Cassiem make up the back-row.

Kieran Hardy and Dan Jones are at scrum-half and fly-half respectively, with Paul Asquith and captain Kieron Fonotia outside them in the centre.

The ever-impressive Johnny McNicholl and Ioan Nicholas are on the wings with Halfpenny at full-back to finish up the XV.

Patchell and Evans are among the subs as the team will hope to continue their incredible home form which has seen them lose only one match since September 2016 in front of their fans.

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivoc spoken about his delight at his teams win against the Cheetahs last weekend but is expecting a different challenge against the current Conference A leaders.

“We all know that Munster are going to be a very different proposition. They will bring a lot aggression and line-speed in defence, which poses a different challenge. We need to be on our game and are expecting more of an arm wrestle,” he said.

Munster are one point ahead of Glasgow at the summit of Conference A and will need a special performance in Wales as the Scarlets will be looking to close the five-point gap between them in fifth and Benetton in second in Conference B.

A win for either could be vital come the end of the regular season.

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Pro14

Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup set for ‘North v South’ final showdown

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The Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup is set to culminate in a ‘North v South’ final on June 19 so that the dual tournaments operating in Europe and South Africa will tie together to produce one winner.

Planning is now at an advanced stage and all written approvals are expected imminently for the game to take place at a European venue.

At this stage in the process it was important for teams, their fans, broadcasters and sponsors to hear of these developments ahead of this weekend’s Rainbow Cup games in Europe and South Africa.

The northern representative in the final shall be the team who finishes first in the table among the 12 teams in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup while the Southern representative shall be the side who ranks first in the Rainbow Cup SA competition.

Further details on the ‘North v South’ Guinness Rainbow Cup Final will be provided next week.

Images & Content from Leinster Rugby

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Kinghorn to become youngest Edinburgh centurion

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Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Blair Kinghorn will become the youngest player to reach 100 Edinburgh Rugby appearances tomorrow night when he returns to face inter-city rivals Glasgow Warriors in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup at BT Murrayfield Stadium (15 May, kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports.

Born and raised in the capital, Kinghorn will surpass the feat of former scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (24 years and 169 days) in becoming the club’s 35th centurion aged 24 years and 117 days, five years on from his debut against Benetton Rugby at the national stadium in October 2016.

The full-back – who has also racked up 25 caps for his country – extended his contract with his hometown team earlier this year and returns from compassionate leave to replace the injured Duhan van der Merwe, with Damien Hoyland moving to wing and Eroni Sau completing the back three.

A new midfield partnership of Chris Dean and James Johnstone starts the match – with centre George Taylor moving to the bench – while 21-year-old stand-off Charlie Savala comes in for Nathan Chamberlain to make his first home appearance alongside Henry Pyrgos at half-back.

A further three starting changes are made to the pack, with co-captain and hooker Stuart McInally – who made a try-scoring return from injury as a replacement last weekend – accompanying Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel in the front-row, with Mike Willemse joining the squad as replacement hooker.

Forwards Marshall Sykes (lock) and Mesu Kunavula (back-row) are promoted from the bench in place of injured pair Grant Gilchrist and Jamie Ritchie, with Ally Miller and Connor Boyle taking their vacated forwards replacements berths on the bench.

Back-row Luke Crosbie, lock Jamie Hodgson and number 8 Viliame Mata are reselected and complete the pack.

Head Coach Richard Cockerill said: “We’ve worked hard to address a few things our game that contributed to a frustrating defeat to Glasgow last weekend, while also ensuring some of the parts that went well continue to be a source of strength for us.

“Every time we pull on an Edinburgh shirt we play to win and we’ve picked a side we feel has a good balance of experienced internationalists, those competing for places and some young, up-and-coming prospects in our squad, who get a chance alongside some seasoned pros.

“We’re still very much in this competition and tomorrow’s game will play a big part in whether that remains to be the case, so we’ll be going out there to front up physically, first and foremost, get our basics right, and put a marker down for the standards we expect from one to 15.”

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Glasgow Warriors at BT Murrayfield Stadium
Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup, Saturday 15 May (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports

15. Blair Kinghorn (99)

14. Damien Hoyland (84)
13. James Johnstone (63)
12. Chris Dean (107)
11. Eroni Sau (24)

10. Charlie Savala (1)
9. Henry Pyrgos (50)

1. Pierre Schoeman (62)
2. Stuart McInally CO-CAPTAIN (152)
3. WP Nel (154)
4. Marshall Sykes (5)
5. Jamie Hodgson (21)
6. Mesu Kunavula (10)
7. Luke Crosbie CO-CAPTAIN (56)
8. Viliame Mata (88)

Substitutes:

16. Mike Willemse (37)
17. Boan Venter (5)
18. Lee-Roy Atalifo (9)
19. Ally Miller (23)
20. Connor Boyle (5)
21. Charlie Shiel (34)
22. Jack Blain (13)
23. George Taylor (35)

Unavailable through injury (19): Magnus Bradbury, Lewis Carmichael, Matt Currie, Andrew Davidson, Andries Ferreira, Dan Gamble, Grant Gilchrist, Darcy Graham, Sam Grahamslaw, Nick Haining, Dan Nutton, Freddie Owsley, Jamie Ritchie, Rory Sutherland, Nathan Sweeney, Ben Toolis, Duhan van der Merwe, Jaco van der Walt, Hamish Watson.

Source – Edinburgh Rugby

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Will Addison banned following Ulster v Munster Red-Card

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Photo by Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ulster and Ireland back Will Addison has been banned for four weeks as a result of his red card in last Friday’s Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup match against Munster.

Addison was shown a red card by WRU referee Craig Evans 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 lie of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

The disciplinary process for the red card offence was presided over by judicial officer Rhian Williams (WRU) who concluded that a mid-range offence had occurred, with a mid-range entry point of six weeks.

In order to determine the ultimate sanction, the judicial officer considered the lack of aggravating circumstances and the range of mitigating factors advanced by Addison.

The 28-year-old, who only returned from long-term back and calf injuries last month, is suspended from participating in the next four meaningful matches.

Should a game be cancelled or postponed during this window of games, Addison and PRO14 are to submit updated fixtures to the disciplinary panel so the return date can be advised.

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography

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