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All you need to know: DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls

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The biggest rivalry in South African rugby resumes at DHL Stadium on Friday when the DHL Stormers face the Vodacom Bulls.

The two teams will square off for the first time since they met in the inaugural Vodacom United Rugby Championship Final in June, which saw the DHL Stormers claim the title at home.

There is a big crowd expected for this North-South showdown, so get your tickets early to make sure you don’t miss out. (CLICK HERE to buy your tickets now).

There will be a festive theme to this match, with Vodacom awarding R5000 to the best festive dress-up at DHL Stadium on the day.

Having claimed a win in their first-ever home Heineken Champions Cup match against London Irish last week, the DHL Stormers will be looking to continue that winning momentum as they take on their old rivals.

Gates at DHL Stadium open at 17h15, with kick-off against the Vodacom Bulls at 19h15. The beer garden in the stadium will be open both before and after the game, so get there early to make sure you don’t miss any of the action. There will be a Red Bull DJ in the beer garden, which opens at 17h15 and closes 90 minutes after the final whistle.

Please print your match ticket clearly and also bring a digital version on your phone and have both ready to scan in as easily as possible at the gates. There are no covid certificate or ID requirements to enter the stadium.

The South Stand is the party stand. The North Stand is the family stand and blocks 108 and 109 are alcohol free.

Spectators are urged to be aware of the threat of car jamming in parking areas and pickpockets and keep your valuable close to you at all times.

DHL Stadium is in a residential precinct, so please respect the residents and co-operate with the traffic officials on duty. Please note that vehicles that are illegally parked will be fined and/or towed away.

Fritz Sonnenberg Road, Vlei Road, Stephan Way and Fort Wynyard Street will all be closed from 16h00 until 23h00, with restrictions only on Helen Suzman Boulevard, Somerset Road, Main Road and Granger Bay Boulevard.

Free MyCiTi shuttle services between the Stadium and the Civic Centre Bus Station will be available for all those with a match ticket.

The first bus from the Civic Centre bus station in Hertzog Boulevard leaves at 16h45. Thereafter a bus leaves every 15 minutes or when full. The last return bus leaves the Stadium bus station at 22h30.

Use public transport to the Civic Centre bus station and either catch the free event shuttle to the Stadium or use the Fan Walk.

It is recommended that those using e-hailing are dropped off and collected in the CBD at DF Malan Drive opposite the Artscape Theatre, Hertzog Boulevard or Jan Smuts Street and then use the MyCiTi shuttle which is free to all event ticket holders from the Civic Centre Station or Thibault Square Station, or alternatively use the Fan Walk.

There is an e-hailing drop-off area in Helen Suzman Boulevard between Vlei Road and Beach Road on both sides, but spectators are warned that drop-and-go and pick-up around the stadium will have very long delays due to traffic congestion.

Parking restrictions will be enforced in the residential areas adjacent to DHL Stadium from 06h00 to 18h00, including on Main Road. Motorists are advised to obey the signage

Spectators are encouraged to use the free on-street parking in the CBD (free after 17h00) but please note that no security will be arranged. Use off-street parking at the CTICC, Ryk Tulbagh Square, Picbel Parkade, Plein Park and use the event shuttle or Fan Walk. Park at the V&A Waterfront (pay to use) and walk to the Stadium. Normal restrictions and charges apply to parking in the CBD.

Public stadium precint parking in P2 is available online at R100 per parking from the Ticketpro website (CLICK HERE to book now). Parking in P4 and P9 is available for R100 cash on entry.

Ticket holders with disabilities must formally request access to the parking bays dedicated in P5 for people with disabilities, by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. These parking bays are limited and available on a first-come first-served basis.

Those that have parking inside the stadium must clearly display their parking accreditation on their vehicle and ensure all occupants have valid event tickets.

Please note that no spectator is allowed access to the pitch. Any person invading the pitch can be prosecuted as this is a criminal offence.

List of prohibited items for events at DHL Stadium

Umbrellas
Food and drinks of any kind
Bottles: Cans, glass or Plastic bottles of any kind including squeezer bottles
Firearms, ammunition or device as defined in the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No.60 of 2000)
Fireworks
Sharp metal objects
Explosives
Tear gas, mace or similar airborne chemical agents
Narcotics
Items which could cause injury
Banners or flags with, racist, sexist, discriminatory or offensive content
Flagpole or banner pole of any kind, unless it is made from inflammable and flexible plastic and does not exceed 1 metre in length 1cm in diameter
Ambush marketing items
Animals
Liquor
Drunkenness and unacceptable behaviour
Dangerous weapons as defined in Dangerous Weapon Act, 1968 (Act No.71 of 1968) including Knifes and sticks
Unauthorized Cameras with detachable lenses
Fraudulent tickets

We are very excited to welcome the Faithful to DHL Stadium for this Vodacom United Rugby Championship North-South derby encounter and look forward to enjoying the day with you cheering our team on in the stands.

Content & Images from – Stormers Rugby


Champions Cup

Academy Trio Stepping Up & Contract News

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Munster Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to announce that Academy trio Tony Butler, Ethan Coughlan and Mark Donnelly will be promoted to the senior squad in the summer.

We can also confirm that hooker Scott Buckley, who graduated from the Academy to the senior squad in 2022, has signed a contract extension.

Out-half Butler, scrum-half Coughlan (both 21) and 22-year-old prop Donnelly have all signed on for the next two seasons after impressing over their three years in the Academy.

Butler and Coughlan become the first Ennis RFC players to earn senior Munster contracts.

As previously confirmed, Academy lock Edwin Edogbo (21), who also came up through the Munster Youths system with Cobh Pirates, will graduate from the Academy to the senior squad on a two-year deal next season.

Buckley, Butler, Coughlan and Donnelly all made their Munster debuts in the famous Champions Cup win over Wasps in December 2021.

Tony Butler in action against Dragons.

Tony Butler in action against Dragons.

Ennis out-half Tony Butler has earned his first senior contract after a very productive three years in the Academy.

He has made six senior appearances to date, including two starts so far this season against Dragons and Connacht.

A Grand Slam winner with the Ireland U20s in 2022, Butler now plays his AIL rugby with Young Munster having previously lined out for Garryowen.

He captained Ennis at underage level, teaming up with Coughlan in the half-backs as they enjoyed success in the Munster U16 and U18 Clubs competitions.

Scrum-half Ethan Coughlan is enjoying an excellent campaign with three starts so far this year and eight senior appearances in total since joining the Academy.

He enjoyed great success alongside Butler with Ennis RFC at underage level before captaining the Ireland U18 Clubs team.

He also won a Grand Slam with the Ireland U20s in 2022 and plays his AIL rugby with Shannon.

Prop Mark Donnelly has already made nine senior appearances for Munster after coming up through the ranks at Midleton RFC, Midleton College and CBC.

He was a Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup winner with CBC in 2019 and featured for the Ireland U20s in the 2021 Six Nations.

He joined the Academy that summer before making his Munster debut along with Buckley, Butler and Coughlan against Wasps in December 2021

Along with his nine senior Munster appearances, Donnelly has also played regularly for Garryowen in the AIL over the past three years.

Mark Donnelly at Munster training.

Mark Donnelly at Munster training.

Hooker Scott Buckley (23) has signed a one-year contract having made 25 appearances for Munster to date.

A product of the Munster Rugby Academy, Buckley started out with Kinsale RFC before captaining CBC to the Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup in 2019.

He was Player of the Match against Wasps on his Munster debut and made nine appearances last season as Munster won the URC title.

A UCC clubman, he scored the match-winning try against Crusaders at Páirc Ui Chaoimh earlier this month.

Scott Buckley scores a try against Leinster in pre-season.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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URC

Squad Update Ahead Of Zebre At Virgin Media Park

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The Munster squad are preparing at the HPC ahead of Friday night’s URC Round 11 clash against Zebre at Virgin Media Park (7.35pm).

There are a limited number of tickets available here.

25 players lined out in the thrilling encounter against Harlequins on Friday night, including eight Academy players and two young club players. Scroll down for match highlights.

The squad is boosted by the return of Tom Ahern, Craig Casey and Jeremy Loughman from international duty ahead of Friday night’s clash in Cork.

On the injury front, Academy back-row forward Ruadhán Quinn has completed the return to play protocols and is available for selection.

Following the game against Harlequins on Friday night, Academy duo Shay McCarthy (ankle) and Daniel Okeke (elbow) will go for scans and are unavailable this week.

Continuing to rehab: Simon Zebo (knee), Patrick Campbell (shoulder), John Hodnett (finger), Paddy Patterson (knee), Jack O’Donoghue (knee), Dave Kilcoyne (shoulder), Diarmuid Barron (foot), Jean Kleyn (eye/knee), Liam Coombes (shoulder), Roman Salanoa (knee).

Video | Harlequins v Munster Highlights

Tickets

URC Round 11: Friday, March 1

Munster v Zebre Parma, Virgin Media Park, 7.35pm; Buy final tickets here

U20s 6 Nations Round 5: Friday, March 15

Ireland v Scotland, Virgin Media Park, 7pm; Buy final tickets here

URC Round 13: Saturday, March 30

Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Women’s 6 Nations Round 3: Saturday, April 13

Ireland v Wales, Virgin Media Park, 4.45pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16: Saturday, May 11

Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 18: Saturday, June 1

Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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URC

Dan McFarland departs Ulster Rugby

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Dan McFarland departs Ulster Rugby

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Ulster Rugby and the IRFU can confirm that Dan McFarland will step down from his position as Head Coach.

After joining the club in 2018, McFarland has been the longest-serving Head Coach for the province in the professional era, with the club reliably securing play-off rugby in URC and EPCR competitions during his time at the helm, including reaching the PRO14 final in 2020.

Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie, said:

“We would like to thank Dan for his determination in driving forward the professional squad over the past six seasons, and I would like to wish him and his family the best for the future on behalf of all at Ulster Rugby.”

The change to the Senior Men’s coaching set-up is with immediate effect, with Ireland U20s Head Coach, Richie Murphy, to link-up with the province as interim Head Coach until the end of this season following the Under-20s Six Nations. Bryn Cunningham, Head of Rugby Operations and Recruitment at Ulster Rugby, will also assume greater management responsibilities within the performance function during this time.

Assistant Coach, Dan Soper, will oversee operations next week ahead of Ulster facing Dragons at Kingspan Stadium in Round 11 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.

Petrie continued: “With Richie coming to Ulster in the coming weeks, ahead of the squad travelling to South Africa, our focus will be on consistently performing to the best of our abilities at this crucial time of the year.”

Images & Content – Ulster Rugby


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