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Pro14

Ulster Rugby makes a return to BBC Coverage

‘Great news for Ulster Fans’

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

BBC Northern Ireland has revealed it will broadcast a new one-hour Pro14 highlights programme on BBC iPlayer and BBC Two NI on Monday evenings.

Rugby fans will be able to watch the highlights from the weekend’s seven games on the programme which will be shown first on BBC iPlayer from 19:00 GMT and then on BBC Two at 23:15 GMT.

The agreement starts with coverage of all round six matches which includes Ulster’s key trip to Munster, Connacht against champions Leinster and Edinburgh against the Dragons.

The programme, which is part of a two-year deal signed by BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales with Pro14, will see action from the competition back on BBC Northern Ireland television.

The deal will cover the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons and includes the play-offs as well as highlights of the finals.

The final next year takes place in Cardiff on 20 June.

‘Great news for rugby fans’
BBC Northern Ireland’s Executive Editor for Sport, Neil Brittain said:

“This is great news for rugby fans. The Pro14 is a fantastic tournament. We have a long history of broadcasting the competition, so I’m delighted that it’s back on BBC Northern Ireland television.

“The new programme will of course include Ulster games but there will be highlights of all the matches from each round so viewers will get to see some of the world’s best players and best teams every week in the competition.

And it really reinforces our commitment to our audiences to bring them the best sporting action – complementing our coverage of football, GAA and bikes.”

Dermot Rigley, Commercial Director of Pro14 Rugby said: “BBC’s return to the Guinness Pro14 is terrific news for our fans and adds yet another committed broadcast partner to our Championship.

“As a tournament we have set a new standard by ensuring every single game is available live to our viewers in the UK and now with our highlights available to free-to-air audiences via the BBC, rugby fans will have unprecedented access to the matches.

“The BBC was on hand at our very first Celtic League final in 2001 and played a part in our journey over the subsequent years, so it is fantastic that they return at a time when the Championship has never been so strong.”

As well as the highlights package, BBC Radio Ulster will continue with its coverage and live commentary of all Ulster matches.

Article from BBC Sport

Pro14

Scarlets ready for big breakdown battle in ‘Derby Day Part III’

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(Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

It’s Derby Day: Part III  this evening as the Scarlets take on Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park (7.35).

Ahead of the sold-out Guinness PRO14 clash Scarlets caught up with forwards coach Ioan Cunningham for his thoughts on what promises to be a mouthwatering contest between two sides stacked with talent.

Ioan, first of all you must have been delighted with the forward display against the Ospreys?

IC: “I was, we are all we are working really hard in getting those combinations working together, but the guys who don’t take the field are also putting a huge amount of work in and they deserve as much credit as the boys who put in the performances on the field.”

Sam Lousi and Tex Ratuva have both made a big impact since arriving

IC: “Both Sam and Tex have been excellent, they have bought in really well, they are enjoying the environment and also bringing their ideas from that they have learned. It is great to have them here and see them express themselves.”

What about the challenge of the Blues on Friday?

IC: “We know how tough it is going to be from what happened last year. They are a good side, well coached, but we are excited by the challenge and the prospect of playing in front of a packed crowd in the capital. The Conference standings also add a bit of extra spice on it. You can see how tight it is by the points on the league table.”

The contact area is always key when you take on the Blues, are you expecting the same again? 

IC: “It has been a massive focus for us, it is going to be a big  battle of the breakdown when you come up against the likes of Josh Navidi, Will Boyde, Josh Navidi and Olly Robinson. They are excellent at that type of game, we are going to have to be really hot on the contact area, how we ball carry and how we clear those rucks.

“But both sides have some awesome talent across the field. It should be a great game.”

It is also the start of three huge weeks ahead at the beginning of the New Year?

IC: “It is a massive period. After this game, we then have Toulon at Parc y Scarlets, a battle at the top of the pool, followed by another big European game against London Irish.

“But as a group we will take each week as it comes. There is confidence and enjoyment in the ranks, the boys are enjoying coming into work every week and are enjoying being challenged.

“Brad is massive on ‘how do we get better?’  That is what we are striving for, to get better every week.”

Source Scarlets Rugby

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International

Furlong signs contract extension with IRFU

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ireland and Leinster Rugby tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong has extended his IRFU contract up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

During his time with Leinster Rugby, Tadhg has made 113 appearances for Leinster, and has contributed to a Heineken Champions Cup in 2018 along with five Guinness PRO12/14 titles since his debut in November 2013.

Furlong made his Ireland debut against Wales in a warm-up fixture ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He has won 49 caps to date for Ireland and started all three Tests of the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand and was last week named in the touring party for this summer’s series against South Africa.

Furlong commented, “Happy to sign on for one more year. There has been some tough days of late but I believe the squads we have in both Leinster and Ireland are able to compete for trophies in the future. I look forward to hopefully playing at a packed out RDS or Aviva Stadium in the months ahead.”

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented, “Tadhg was a long time out of the game but showed upon his return in January what a positive influence he can be for both Ireland and Leinster. He has grown as a senior voice in the Ireland squad and his recent performances reminded everyone why he is rated as one of the best tighthead’s in world rugby.”

Images & Content from Leinster Rugby

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Pro14

Ireland Sevens Squads Named For International Rugby 7s

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Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

IRFU Director of Sevens and Women’s Rugby, Anthony Eddy, has today named the Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens squads for this weekend’s International Rugby 7s tournament at St George’s Park.

Ulster’s Claire Boles, Brittany Hogan and Maeve Liston have been named in the Women’s side, and Aaron Sexton, Ben Moxham and Jude Postlethwaite have been selected for the Men’s team.

The three-day tournament is being hosted by GB Sevens and will take place between 15-17 May at the Football Association’s National Training Centre at St George’s Park.

A return to competition rugby is a welcome boost for the Ireland squads and an important building block as they gear up towards a busy summer schedule, with Ireland Men preparing for June’s World Rugby Sevens Repechage, the final qualification event for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Billy Dardis will once again captain the Ireland Men, with Eddy selecting a 16-player squad for this weekend’s tournament.

Munster Academy Players Alex Kendellen, Conor Phillips and Jack Crowley, who starred for Ireland U20s last season and this year made his senior debut for the Province, are all included for the first time having trained with the squad at the IRFU High Performance Centre in recent months.

Former Leinster centre Gavin Mullin, is named in the panel alongside the likes of Dardis, Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Aaron O’Sullivan and Hugo Lennox, who have all featured for Ireland on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Ireland Men will face hosts Great Britain and USA, with each team playing two games per day and points to be gained towards the final standings throughout the three days.

Lucy Mulhall, meanwhile, will lead an exciting 16-player Ireland Women’s squad into their first competitive action of the season, as they go head-to-head with hosts Great Britain and France.

Having recently featured in the Women’s Six Nations for Adam Griggs’ Ireland, Brittany Hogan, Stacey Flood, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Eve Higgins, Grace Moore and Emily Lane are all included, while Méabh Deely, Aoibheann Reilly and Kate Farrell McCabe, who have all come through the IRFU Women’s Development Pathway, will hope to impress further on the international stage.

Commenting ahead of the tournament, Eddy said: “We are really looking forward to getting back to international competition and actually play some matches.

“This tournament provides a great opportunity to build towards the summer ahead and it is great preparation for the Men’s team leading into Monaco and the Olympic Repechage Tournament in June. Both our Men’s and Women’s teams will be exposed to some quality opposition throughout the tournament and the competition should be intense.

“We are very grateful for the opportunity and thankful for all the work that has taken place behind the scenes to allow us to participate in the tournament.”

The International Rugby 7s will be played behind-closed-doors and there will be a live stream on England Rugby channels, while there will be full coverage on IrishRugby.ie.

Ireland Men’s Sevens Squad For International Rugby 7s:

Alex Kendellen (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Gavin Mullin (UCD)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne)
Jude Postlethwaite (Banbridge/Ulster)
Conor Phillips (Young Munster/Munster)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College)(Captain)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries)
Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Ben Moxham (Ballymena/Ulster)
Terry Kennedy (St Mary’s College)
Rory Scholes (Irish Sevens)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Duran Krummeck (Irish Sevens)
Aaron Sexton (Malone/Ulster).

Ireland Women’s Sevens Squad For International Rugby 7s:

Claire Boles (Railway Union/Ulster)
Megan Burns (Tullamore/Leinster)
Amee Leigh Murphy-Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Méabh Deely (Blackrock/Connacht)
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar/Railway Union/Leinster)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)
Brittany Hogan (DCU/Ulster)
Emily Lane (Blackrock/Munster)
Maeve Liston (Blackrock/Ulster)
Kate Farrell McCabe (Suttonians/Leinster)
Grace Moore (Railway Union/IQ Rugby)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum/Leinster)(Captain)
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Old Belvedere/Munster)
Aoibheann Reilly (Blackrock/Connacht).

International Rugby 7s Schedule:

Saturday 15th May:

Men:

  • Ireland v Great Britain, 10am
  • Ireland v USA, 1pm
  • Great Britain v USA, 4pm

Women:

  • Ireland v France, 10.22am
  • Great Britain v France, 1.22pm
  • Great Britain v Ireland, 4.22pm

Sunday 16th May:

Men:

  • Ireland v USA, 10am
  • Great Britain v USA, 1pm
  • Great Britain v Ireland, 4pm

Women:

  • Great Britain v France, 10.22am
  • Ireland v France, 1.22pm
  • Great Britain v Ireland, 4.22pm

Monday 17th May: 

Men:

  • Ireland v USA, 10am
  • Great Britain v Ireland, 1pm
  • Great Britain v USA, 4pm

Women:

  • Ireland v France, 10.22am
  • Great Britain v Ireland, 1.22pm
  • Great Britain v France, 4.22pm.

Source – Ulster Rugby

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