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Leinster Name Strong Team to Face Scarlets

Changes all round!

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Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster have named their team to take on the Scarlets on Friday, with Cullen showing how strong his selection will be during the international period.

The Irish province will be looking for revenge after falling to a 23-21 loss to the Scarlets at the start of the season. With both teams missing key players due to 6 Nations duties other players have been given the chance to shine.

Rob Kearney captains Leinster from full-back, looking to prove his fitness to Joe Schmidt before Ireland’s opening game against England next Saturday.

He is joined in the back three by Barry Daly and James Lowe who returns from his three-match suspension he received after a red card against Munster.

Rory O’Loughlin and Conor O’Brien start in the centre with the latter looking to continue his recent rise for the blues. Ciaran Frawley will be at No 10, joined by Hugh O’Sullivan in the half-backs, who makes his first start for Leinster.

Cullen has named a strong pack with Jack McGrath, James Tracy, and Michael Bent in the front-row. They are joined by Ross Molony and Mick Kearney in the second-row. While Max Deegan, Scott Penny, and Caelan Doris slot into the back-row.

Leinster have strength on the bench where the likes of Bryan Byrne, Ed Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park and Noel Reid available to be called on. With Jack Dunne ready to come on to make his debut.

On the Scarlets side, Jake Ball has the same opportunity as Kearney to prove his fitness before the opening matches of the 6 Nations.

They also name Johnny McNicholl at full-back, a player Leinster know all too well after his hat-trick in last seasons final.

With 11 players getting an international call, the rest of the Scarlets team is relatively new with only five remaining from last weekend’s loss to Racing 92.

Along with McNicholl, the survivors are Dan Jones, David Bulbring, Dan Davis and Josh Macleod.

Both sides are aware of the opportunity the international break gives to players with Scarlets coach Wayne Pivoc noting that the game will be good for both sets of players.

“When their internationals are away, they get excited like our guys do, so we’re expecting a very stern test,” he said.

While returning Leinster winger Lowe pointed towards the threat the Scarlets pose going forward.

“It’s an exciting challenge,” he said when asked how he felt about facing them, “Scarlets are a very very good attacking team,” he added.

Leinster are currently top of conference B, 19 points ahead of Edinburgh and 20 above their opponents on Friday. Both teams will be looking to impress while the regular starters are away and will be hoping to kick-off the international break with a win.


URC

All You Need To Know | Edinburgh v Munster

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Munster are on the road this weekend with Graham Rowntree’s side visiting Edinburgh in round 9 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.

Find out all you need to know ahead of Edinburgh v Munster below.

Buy match tickets for Munster’s next home game against Toulouse here.

Where?

The DAM Health Stadium

When?

Friday, December 2

Broadcast

Live on Viaplay, TG4, SuperSport, Premier Sports, Discovery + & URC TV.

Did you know?

This will be Munster’s first-ever game at the recently built 7,800 capacity DAM Health Stadium alongside Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

Munster News

Gallery | This Week’s Best Training Pics

Squad Update

This Week At Munster Rugby

Teams

Both sides will be named before 12pm on Thursday.

Press Pass

Hear from Munster Forwards Coach Andi Kyriacou and Calvin Nash ahead of the game.

Match Officials

Referee: Mathieu Raynal

Assistants: Ian Kenny & Ross Mabon

TMO: Philippe Bonhoure

Tickets

Champions Cup Round 1

Sunday, December 11

Munster Rugby v Stade Toulousain, Thomond Park, 3.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 10

Monday, December 26

Munster v Leinster, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 12

Friday, January 6

Munster v Emirates Lions, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Champions Cup Round 3

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 3.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 14

Friday, February 17, 2023

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

URC Round 15

Friday, March 3, 2023

Munster Rugby v Scarlets, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Munster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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URC

Pete Wilkins: Preview to Benetton

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This Saturday Connacht Rugby welcome Benetton Rugby to The Sportsground. For Connacht, its a first home game since late October and one they will be aiming to win.

Head coach Pete Wilkins spoke to media before the game where he was first asked about last weekend’s defeat to Munster.

“Saturday wasn’t good enough and the scoreline reflects that”

“I’ve got mixed feelings from it, in the first half we put ourselves in contention but I don’t think Munster should have had ten points if we had been on our game as effectively as we should have been and in the second half I feel we gave them too many blocks of momentum”

“The key stat for me on Saturday was we got into their 22 six times and they got access to our 22 twelve times”

“Going into the game we were fairly even when it came to that stat per game”

The Connacht set piece has been very impressive so far this year and while Pete is happy with how that area is going he still believes there’s room for improvement.

“The forwards are showing great appetite for work and they have been top class but as a unit they know they haven’t reached their best yet which excites me so much”

“Lads are coming into training each day looking at specific details as to where they can improve and get the best out of each other”

“As coaches we’re seeing real competition in our scrum sessions, the lads are really pushing each other which is what’s needed to reach the level we want”

Benetton make their way to Galway on Saturday and the Italian side have had a decent season to date so Pete is expecting a massive challenge and one that should excite the players.

“Its an interesting challenge because they are pretty low in the rankings for possession, territory and points scored but yet they are very effective on their day and that is down to their goal kicking and taking opportunities when they come”

“If your discipline is poor they will punish you and they have powerful forwards who can cause damage”

“For us, we need to be effective when we have the ball and be clinical”

The Connacht team for Saturday will be named on Friday.

Tickets for the game are available HERE

Images & Content from – Connacht Rugby


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Young wants Cardiff to take another step forward against Bulls

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Dai Young has challenged Cardiff to take another step forward when they face Vodacom Bulls on Saturday night (18:00 GMT).

The Blue and Blacks go into the encounter on the back of an impressive 35-0 victory over Cell C Sharks in Durban – the first time a Welsh team had secured a BKT United Rugby Championship triumph in South Africa and the first time the Sharks or any of their predecessors at Kings Park had been nilled since 1972. 

Young hopes his players will be brimming with confidence when they run out at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday and he has challenged them to deliver a consistent level of performance as they continue their progression. 

He said: “You like to think you are going to grow in confidence and belief after good performances in exactly the same way as bad performances can draw that out. 

“I thought we played really well and you can’t take that away from the players – they did an excellent job and tactically we played the conditions really well. 

“We went into the game knowing the first 25 minutes was huge and whatever team got a lead in those conditions, it was always going to be hard for the other team to turn that around. 

“But we are not going to get ahead of ourselves. It was a great performance but one that is gone now and history. Hopefully we can take some confidence and belief out of it but we know we have another massive challenge on the weekend.”

While Cardiff have now notched up victories over the Sharks and reigning URC champions the DHL Stormers in the current campaign, their Arms Park defeat to the Bulls last season remains vivid. 

Young recalls the Pretoria-based outfit as the biggest side he has ever encountered and indeed they are currently second in the URC stats for metre gained, clean breaks and point scored. That points to the Bulls balance between size and attacking prowess and Young knows his side will need to be even better this weekend. 

He continued: “I’m sure there are a few more bumps in the road but we will take that performance and it should give us a lot of belief and confidence. The realism kicks in now and we know what a formidable outfit the Bulls are. 

“They are probably in a better position than the Sharks at the moment so we know we have to be better again to get anywhere near them.

“They don’t hide the way they want to play. Most South African teams play a very similar way. They have huge physicality up front and I remember playing them at the Arms Park where it was definitely the biggest pack of forwards I’ve ever come across. They were just huge.

“They also have real pace behind. They are comfortable moving the ball and playing from deep and they are comfortable sitting behind the ball. 

“If you look back to our game at the Arms Park we had a really good first half against them, caused lots of pressure and got ourselves in a decent position but in the second half they just shut the game down. They went to their scrum and driving line out, forced penalties, won field position and just out powered us. 

“We know they can play both ways and we have to bring the performance from the weekend. The target for us as a team is to consistently put these kind of performances in and if they are enough on the day great and if we’re not, we’re not. 

“I don’t want to get involved in this emotional rollercoaster that if you lose you’re really down and if you win you’re really up. Every game has to be about individual and collective improvement and that’s what we have talked about this week.”

Content & Images from – Cardiff Rugby


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