Connect with us

URC

Minimal changes for Leinster

Published

on

The Cell C Sharks take an almost unchanged line-up into Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash against Leinster, as they look to finish their three match European tour on a high.

It’s still early in the competition and the Cell C Sharks know they are not yet the finished product, but there is regular and meaningful improvement each week.

Assistant coach Warren Whiteley, speaking from the team’s base this week admitted that, “We’ve been working really hard over the last two weeks or so, we were disappointed in certain aspects of play in the first game [against Zebre] particularly, but we felt we made improvements against the Dragons.

“However, we haven’t reached the standards we’ve set for ourselves so there is an emphasis on improvements.”

There are just two changes to the starting line-up, both rotational, with Hyron Andrews and Reniel Hugo swapping jersey numbers in the second row, likewise Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Phepsi Buthelezi at eighthman.

With a Cell C Sharks loose-forward trio that leans towards mobility and athleticism, rather than big, heavy ball-carriers, Notshe fits the bill perfectly, alongside flankers James Venter and Dylan Richardson.

“As coaches, we’re really excited with what we’ve seen [with the loose trio] over the last couple of weeks, it’s been phenomenal, and we know there’s going to be even more improvement in that department as we progress in the competition.

“What’s most important for us is the cohesion of the players which is really important and that does take time, especially in a loose trio and they’ll find each other the more they play together.

“And we have our Springboks as well as guys coming back from injury who will join the squad. But it’s really all about cohesion, guys playing together and finding combinations that work best for the team.”

Although the weather in Ireland can be wet, for the Cell C Sharks, it’s more about how they want to play, rather than being dictated to by good or bad weather.

“We have a specific game model that we trust and believe in,” Whitely explained, “and we want to keep it simple. The boys will make certain decisions on the day and in the moment, according to our game model and the plan for that weekend.”

Looking at the opposition, he admitted that it’s going to be a real test for the Cell C Sharks, but a challenge they embrace fully.

“We know Leinster have a powerful pack and a very strong maul – amongst other things – and this week is another great opportunity for us to keep improving.”

Cell C Sharks

1. Ntuthuko Mchunu

2. Kerron van Vuuren

3. Thomas du Toit (c)

4. Justin Basson

5. Hyron Andrews

6. James Venter

7. Dylan Richardson

8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe

9. Grant Williams

10. Boeta Chamberlain

11. Thaakir Abrahams

12. Ben Tapuai

13. Rohan Janse Van Rensburg

14. Werner Kok

15. Aphelele Fassi

Replacements

16. Dan Jooste

17. Dian Bleuler

18. Carlu Sadie

19. Reniel Hugo

20. Phepsi Buthelezi

21. Cameron Wright

22. Nevaldo Fleurs*

23. Marnus Potgieter

*Denotes possible debut for the Cell C Sharks, if the player comes on from the bench.

Content & Images from – Cell C Sharks Rugby


Champions Cup

Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Toulouse At Thomond

Published

on

The Munster squad started their training week on Tuesday ahead of Sunday’s Champions Cup opener against Toulouse at Thomond Park (3.15pm).

A bumper crowd will attend the fixture with tickets from €25 available here. A Family Pack of 4 tickets costs just €50.

11 Munster players were in AIL action for their clubs at the weekend.

In Division 1A, Dan Goggin, Conor Phillips, Eoin O’Connor and Fionn Gibbons featured for Young Munster as they beat Shannon at Thomond Park with Phillips among the tries.

Ethan Coughlan, Kieran Ryan and Darragh McSweeney lined out for Shannon.

Cian Hurley and Jack Oliver lined out for Garryowen as they were defeated by Ballynahinch at Dooradoyle.

In Division 1B, James French helped Highfield defeat UCC at Woodleigh Park.

In Division 2A, Ruadhan Quinn was a try-scorer for Old Crescent as they defeated Ballymena.

Evan O’Connell featured for UL Bohemian as they were beaten by Navan.

On the injury front, Conor Murray returns to training this week after recovering from the groin injury he sustained on his 100th Ireland cap against South Africa last month.

Mike Haley is expected to complete his return to play protocols this week with a view to returning to full team training.

Simon Zebo sustained a low-grade knee injury against Edinburgh and will begin rehabilitation with the medical department. He will be unavailable for the coming weeks.

Continuing to rehab: Stephen Archer (ankle), Tom Ahern (shoulder), RG Snyman (knee), Fineen Wycherley (shoulder), Paddy Kelly (head), Jack Daly (knee), Jack O’Sullivan (knee), Andrew Conway (knee), Keynan Knox (knee).

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


Continue Reading

URC

Rowlands to leave at end of season

Published

on

Dragons RFC can confirm that Wales international second row Will Rowlands will leave the club at the end of the current season.

The 31-year-old, who joined the Men of Gwent ahead of the 21/22 season and has made 16 appearances for the club, has agreed terms with a club outside of Wales for the 23/24 season.

Dai Flanagan, Head Coach of Dragons RFC, commented: “We’re obviously disappointed to be losing a player of Will’s quality, but despite the best efforts of ourselves, Will’s representative and the WRU over the last 12 months or so, we were unable to reach agreement on terms for the future.

“Since arriving in Gwent, Will has been a hugely positive influence on our group, captaining the side and being named Wales’ player of the year.

“We know that he’ll continue to give his absolute all to the club for the remainder of his time with us and he will always be welcome at Rodney Parade.”

Will Rowlands also commented: “I am sad to be leaving Dragons RFC at the end of this season but would like to thank everyone involved with the club for their support over the past 18 months.

“It has been a pleasure to play at Rodney Parade and I know that the future is bright for this club. It’s home to some truly talented players and I really believe in the vision of Dai and the other coaches. I have no doubt that we are just beginning to see the seeds of that in the performances of the team, and that they will go from strength to strength.

“It is still my great hope that I will be able to represent my country in the World Cup 2023, if called upon.”

Content & Images from – Dragons Rugby


Continue Reading

URC

Owen Williams agrees deal with Ospreys as injury replacement

Published

on

Today, the Ospreys announced that Owen Williams will join the team as an injury replacement in a deal that will see the ex-Worcester man join the club as cover for Gareth Anscombe, who was regrettably injured on international duty.

With the injury to Gareth Anscombe and Stephen Myler also currently out injured, the agreement will give the Ospreys much needed depth at the fly-half position.

Capped three times at international level, Williams provides invaluable experience and leadership qualities that will contribute massively to the team as the second half of the season approaches.

Head Coach Toby Booth said: “For us to compete at the highest level, it is hugely important that we have quality depth where we need it. Signing Owen not only provides injury cover for us, but also improves us a group.

“Jack Walsh has done a great job stepping up at 10 in some huge games for us over the last few weeks, but ultimately with Gareth’s injury, we needed to reinforce in that area. Owen can play 10 or 12 and brings a wealth of experience with him from his time in Premiership. I have no doubt that he will make a positive impact in a variety of areas for us.”

Excited about the prospect of joining the Ospreys, Owen Williams said: “I’m really looking forward to getting started here, the Ospreys have a rich history and a great squad that are capable of going on and becoming a real force.

“I spoke with the coach before making my decision, and it was clear to me that he had a plan for how I will fit in to the wider vision for the team going forward. It’s been a while since I’ve played my rugby in Wales, but I can’t wait to be back in the region where it all started for me.”

The Ospreys are set for their first Heineken Champions Cup fixture against Leicester Tigers on Sunday, the same team where Williams made over 100 appearances and scored over 600 points during his time there.

Image & Content Source – Ospreys Rugby


Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending