Munster face Ulster at Thomond Park on Saturday evening in the first Interpro derby of the season with the majority of the province’s World Cup players set to return for the clash (5.15pm).
Peter O’Mahony captains Munster with eight of Munster’s Rugby World Cup contingent set to feature at Thomond Park.
Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, O’Mahony and CJ Stander all start with Conor Murray among the replacements.
JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson and Chris Cloete keep their places in the side after helping Munster to a bonus-point win away to Cardiff Blues last week as Munster make 12 changes.
Academy winger Liam Coombes makes his second Munster start with Mike Haley and Conway completing the back three.
Mathewson and Hanrahan continue their half-back partnership with Rory Scannell and Farrell in the centres.
James Cronin, Scannell and Ryan pack down in the front row with Kleyn and Billy Holland in the engine room.
O’Mahony, Cloete and Stander are named in the back row.
Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Liam Coombes; JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley, Jack O’Donoghue, Conor Murray, Tyler Bleyendaal, Arno Botha.
Dan McFarland has switched things up with seven changes from the side that defeated Zebre last Friday, Irish internationals Jacob Stockdale and Jordi Murphy will make their first appearances this season.
In the back three, Matt Faddes switches to full-back and is joined by the returning Stockdale and Rob Lyttle on the left and right wings respectively.
Stuart McCloskey is re-called to join last week’s Man-of-the-Match, Luke Marshall in midfield. Angus Curtis will make his first start for Ulster this season at fly-half and is joined by John Cooney at scrum-half, who made his 50th appearance last time out against Zebre.
Among the four changes in the forwards, Marty Moore returns to make his first start of the season at tighthead, joining Jack McGrath at loosehead and captain Rob Herring to make up an all international front row. Sam Carter comes back in to join Alan O’Connor in the second row.
Joining Murphy will be Sean Reidy at blindside, and Nick Timoney switches to assume the number eight position, completing the back row.
In the replacements, Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell and Matthew Rea will provide forward cover. David Shanahan, Bill Johnston and Robert Baloucoune – who is also set to make his seasonal bow – make up the back-line reinforcements.
Ulster team to play Munster Rugby, Guinness PRO14 Round 6, Saturday 9 November at Thomond Park (kick-off 5:15pm):
(15-9) Matt Faddes, Rob Lyttle, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Angus Curtis, John Cooney.
(1-8) Jack McGrath, Rob Herring (Capt.), Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.
Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, David Shanahan, Bill Johnston, Robert Baloucoune.
Did you know?
Munster are unbeaten in their last 24 home games in all tournaments
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 28th competition game)Assistant Referees: Rob O’Sullivan (IRFU), Paul Haycock (IRFU)TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)
Live on eir sport 1, Premier Sport 2, DAZN, PRO14.tv.
Munster Press Conference:
Aviva Stadium To Host Connacht-Ulster Clash Next Month
Connacht Rugby and the URC can confirm the round 5 fixture between Connacht and Ulster will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, October 23 (kick-off 5.15pm).
In what will be a day of celebration at the home of Irish Rugby, the derby game is due to be one of the first professional sporting events in Ireland following the planned relaxing of most remaining restrictions the previous day.
Andy Friend’s men previously played two matches at the ground in August 2020, including a win over Ulster in their first game back since the suspension of the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14.
Connacht can also confirm the following ticket info:
- All Season Tickets will be valid, with holders provided a complimentary upgrade to Premium Level seats. Emails will be sent to all ST holders tomorrow where they can choose their location in the ground and purchase additional tickets
- Remaining 1885 Club members will have exclusive access to purchase tickets from Friday for the weekend. As a thank you, these members can also purchase tickets in the Premium Level for the same price as a Category 1 ticket
- Remaining tickets for the Lower Level and Premium Level will go on General Sale this Monday from 9am
Willie Ruane, CEO of Connacht Rugby, says the day promises to be a memorable occasion.
“Connacht Rugby are really pleased to confirm our fixture against Ulster is to be held at the Aviva Stadium next month,” he announced.
“This will be the first time that our supporters will have the opportunity to watch our professional squad at the Aviva Stadium, and I’m confident that as usual they will turn out in force and make it a memorable occasion.
“With all of the uncertainty surrounding capacities over recent months the opportunity provided to us by the IRFU to play at the Aviva Stadium is one that we felt we could not pass up.
“As we all know there are tens of thousands of people living in Dublin who are originally from the west of Ireland, and we hope to use this game to not only provide our supporters living in the west with the opportunity to make this a memorable day but also for our supporters living outside the province to come along and cheer on their home team.
“We’d like to thank our official supporters club, the Connacht Clan, for their support of this fixture since we first engaged with them last month, as well as the IRFU for their support in helping us to bring this game to the home of Irish Rugby.”
Connacht head coach Friend says the whole squad cannot wait to return to the Aviva, acknowledging: “Our fixture against Ulster at the Aviva last year was a really special occasion.
“At the time it was our first game in six months and for most of the players it was their first experience playing at the stadium.
“You could see straight away that the venue was ideal for the type of rugby we want to play, and that helped give us the win we deserved.
“The prospect of returning there – but this time with thousands of Connacht supporters behind us – is something the staff and players have been fully behind since the start, and we can’t wait until that day arrives.”
Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography
How to watch Ulster in the United Rugby Championship
Ulster Rugby will begin its exciting journey into the new United Rugby Championship this Friday night, hosting Glasgow Warriors under the lights at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm).
We are delighted to be able to welcome up to 15,000 supporters at Friday’s fixture, and tickets are still available. For more information on Friday’s event, or to buy tickets, please click here.
The introduction of South Africa’s four elite teams to the URC has created a challenge unlike any other, with two hemispheres colliding as the best of Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales take on the best of South Africa.
If you’re planning on following Ulster’s URC campaign from home, we have pulled together this handy guide on how to watch all the action for supporters in the UK and Ireland…
Premier Sports is the only place for supporters in the UK to watch every single United Rugby Championship game live this season. You can follow Ulster home and away as Premier Sports will broadcast all 151 games, including eight games per round plus coverage of all the knock-out drama and Grand Final.
Ulster legends Stephen Ferris, Andrew Trimble and Paul Marshall, along with presenters Graham Little and Mark Robson, are among the talent returning to the screens this season.
Fans can tune in on Sky, Virgin TV, or online using the Premier Sports Player from start to finish – you can subscribe now at premiersports.com to watch all 151 games live for less than £1 a game.
Ulster Rugby returns to BBC Northern Ireland this season with live free-to-air coverage of six of the province’s home matches in the inaugural United Rugby Championship.
In addition to televising live the home fixtures against Benetton, Emirates Lions, Connacht, Cardiff, Munster and the Cell C Sharks, every Ulster URC fixture will be available on BBC iPlayer 24 hours after each round.
A new weekly TV programme – ‘The Ulster Rugby Show’ – featuring a line-up of special guests and pundits will take a light-hearted look at the latest news and talking points from the province and across the new tournament. The first episode will air this Thursday 23 September at 10.00pm on BBC2 NI.
RTE / TG4
RTE and TG4 have also picked up broadcast rights to show ten games on free-to-air TV this season.
Among the fixtures being covered live by the Ireland-based broadcasters are the three away interprovincial derbies against Connacht, Leinster and Munster.
New for the 2021/22 season, URC TV is an online streaming service giving fans the opportunity to watch every game live and on demand.
A free service showing a range of highlights, archive matches and snackable videos, will be available in all countries including the UK and South Africa (fans in these countries can watch all games live on Premier Sports and Super Sport respectively).
Fans watching in Ireland, Europe (excluding UK), US and a number of other territories, URC TV will also offer a range of subscription packages including a Season Pass (all games), Ireland Pass (all games featuring Irish Clubs), Weekend Passes (all games within a round) and individual games passes.
For more information, or to sign up, visit www.urc.tv.
Source – Ulster Rugby
Sharks name squad of 34 for URC trip to Europe, Pienaar included.
Sean Everitt has picked two, and sometimes three, players in each position given the COVID-19 protocols around international travel and proper isolation and quarantine practices, as well as accounting for any injuries that may be picked up within this four match period.
Ruan Pienaar and Tian Meyer have both been included in the squad, having signed loan agreements with the Cell C Sharks from the Toyota Cheetahs, while there are welcome returns from injury for the lock pairing of Ruben van Heerden and Hyron Andrews.
Phepsi Buthelezi continues to lead a settled and experienced squad of players in the absence of Lukhanyo Am, who will take over the captaincy on his return from Springbok duty.
“The boys are up for the challenge, we have some experienced players who have played in the Pro16 before and have had a taste of European conditions, and we have coaching staff who have coached at the highest level; we’re all confident that we can do well overseas,” said Everitt.
“We’ve taken a young squad mixed with some older heads with experience and it will be exciting to see what these guys can deliver against opposition that we don’t see too often, nor play against.”
The Cell C Sharks kick off their campaign against Munster next Saturday, and in round two (Saturday 2 October) travel to Scotland to take on Glasgow Warriors before heading to Wales for rounds three and four, against the Ospreys (Friday 8 October) before rounding off the month-long tour against Cardiff (Saturday 16 October).
“The boys are excited about experiencing a new competition, the URC is a tough tournament that brings in new challenges and different opposition but the guys are up for the challenge after a very good Currie Cup and a good year,” added Everitt.
The Cell C Sharks touring squad:
Forwards: Dan Jooste, Dylan Richardson, Fez Mbatha, Gebrandt Grobler, Henco Venter, Hyron Andrews, James Venter, Kerron van Vuuren, Khutha Mchunu, Khwezi Mona, Le Roux Roets, Lourens Adriaanse, Mpilo Gumede, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), Reniel Hugo, Ruben van Heerden, Thembelani Bholi, Thomas du Toit, Wiehahn Herbst.
Backs: Anthony Volmink, Boeta Chamberlain, Curwin Bosch, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw, Marnus Potgieter, Murray Koster, Ruan Pienaar, Rynhardt Jonker, Sanele Nohamba, Thaakir Abrahams, Tian Meyer, Werner Kok, Yaw Penxe.
Aviva Stadium To Host Connacht-Ulster Clash Next Month
Eddie Jones names 45 man England Squad
How to watch Ulster in the United Rugby Championship
What rugby is on and where to watch it October – December
Six Nations 2020 – Fixtures & TV Schedule
Farrell Names Ireland’s Six Nations Squad
Premiership1 week ago
Wasps sign South African Lock
URC7 days ago
Ulster sign World Cup winner Vermeulen
Premiership7 days ago
Team news: Bristol Bears vs Saracens – GP R1
Premiership1 week ago
Joe Simpson signs on one-month loan with Premiership side
Rugby Championship7 days ago
All Blacks team named for second Argentina Test
International1 week ago
Nienaber opts for continuity in selection
International7 days ago
Hooper to break Wallabies captaincy record
6 Nations1 week ago
TG4 And RTÉ Partner To Show Over 150 Hours Of URC Coverage