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Tadhg Furlong To Captain Ireland v Fiji



Tadhg Furlong was today confirmed as the Ireland captain for Saturday’s Bank of Ireland Nations Series game against Fiji in Aviva Stadium (KO: 1.00pm).

It will be the first time that Furlong will have captained Ireland at senior level.Speaking to media today from the Irish base in the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Furlong said, “it’s class, it’s class, it’s not something I ever thought was on my radar.

“Never even thought of it. I never even put the idea…you know when you dream as a young fella, you want to play for Ireland, you want to play for Leinster, you want to play for the Lions. I never even dreamed of captaining Ireland.”

With team captain Johnny Sexton still nursing an injury from the win against South Africa and likely to miss out on the match day 23 this weekend, Furlong will lead his country in front of a sold out Aviva Stadium.

“Look, I know it’s for a game. I know it’s not captaining your country week-in, week-out, but it’s still class. It’s still a class feeling.

“I know from people back home, they’ll be very proud etc. So it’s great.”The people back home are of course his father, James, mother, Margaret, and his extended family and friends in Campile, Co Wexford.

But the pride will spread well beyond that to the people in New Ross RFC, where he was first introduced to rugby.

To the people of Good Counsel, where he went to school. To the people involved with the South East Area in the Shane Horgan Cup where he first tasted representative rugby.

To the people of Clontarf FC where he cut his AIL teeth.

And even to the people of Whiddy Island, Cork where his mother Margaret is from and where he spent many a holiday.

They’ve all played a part.Furlong made his Ireland debut against Wales in the 2015 Guinness Summer Series before being named in the squad for the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

He featured against Romania in that tournament and went on to make his 6 Nations debut the following spring featuring off the bench against the Welsh.

In June 2016, Furlong replaced Mike Ross to help Ireland secure a famous victory over the Springboks in Cape Town and later that year would start in Chicago as Ireland recorded their first ever win over New Zealand.He started every game of the 2017 6 Nations Championships and has gone from strength to strength ever since for Ireland, going on to win 61 caps for his country and winning a Grand Slam in 2018.

Selected for the 2017 British & Irish Lions squad, Furlong was the starting tighthead for all three Test matches against New Zealand, and he followed that up with a second tour to South Africa last year.

Once again, he was the starting tighthead prop in all three tests for the second tour in a row.Furlong, who turns 30 next Monday, made his Leinster debut against Newport Gwent Dragons in November 2013 and has won 128 caps for his province, scoring ten tries.

He won the Champions Cup in 2018 and has also won four PRO14 titles.

He has been an ever present in blue, green and red and has the medals and the accolades to go along with the caps.

And now, he will captain his country. It won’t be the first time but it will be the first at senior level.“The last team I captained was the Irish U18s. That’s going back, boy.

“It was a lot of blood and guts, banging tables back then. I’ve been lucky to be involved in a lot of good teams with a lot of good captains, it’s trying to fit your way in and enjoy it as much as possible.

“I would have talked to Johnny, when you’re involved in the leadership group you get an idea of the inner workings of the week, of our lead into a game with meetings on Thursday and Friday. Faz (Andy Farrell) has been good, and just relying on the 10 and a few of the lineout callers, planning which way they want to go about their business.

“To be brutally honest with you, I’m a prop. If I’m playing, I’m playing for 50/60 minutes, and I’ve my head in the ground for most of the game. I think there’s a reason front rows, and props especially, aren’t captain all that often, it’s because of that and I think that’s the reality of it.

“Is it something I’d like to do (again)? I haven’t even thought of it. I didn’t even think it was on my radar. I just want to make the most out of the weekend.”

Images & Content from Leinster Rugby


Ulster ready for Dragons in Origin Round at Kingspan Stadium



Ulster ready for Dragons in Origin Round at Kingspan Stadium

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Assistant Coach, Dan Soper, has named the Ulster team to take on Dragons RFC at Kingspan Stadium in Round 11 of the BKT United Rugby Championship (KO 7 35pm).

The province returns to URC action at home for the first time since the Interprovincial derby victory over Connacht at Kingspan Stadium before Christmas.

Ulster Rugby Academy graduate, James Hume, will captain his province from a centre partnership that sees him paired with 21-year-old Jude Postlethwaite.

Springbok and double Rugby World Cup winner, Steven Kitshoff, starts at loosehead prop and is joined by hooker, Tom Stewart, and fellow prop, Tom O’Toole, who returns to the team for the first time since being called up to Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell’s Guinness Six Nations squad.

The second row sees young talents Cormac Izuchukwu and Harry Sheridan come together as the two locks.

The back row is unchanged from last time out against Ospreys, with David McCann, Marcus Rea and Nick Timoney retaining their places.

Ulster opts for the experienced half-back partnership of John Cooney and Billy Burns.

Academy products, Mike Lowry and Ethan McIlroy, start on the right and left wing respectively.

Will Addison completes the back field as he starts at full-back.

The bench sees a welcome return to action for lock, Kieran Treadwell, who returns after an injury sustained against Harlequins in January.

John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Scott Wilson, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reffell, Nathan Doak, Luke Marshall, Jacob Stockdale form the replacement options from the bench.

Ulster Rugby v Dragons RFC, Origin Round 11, BKT United Rugby Championship, 7 35pm, Saturday 2 March, live on Viaplay and BBC Radio Ulster.

With the URC celebrating the people and communities behind the professional players competing in the league through its Origin Round this week, Ulster Rugby will be celebrating the important role of clubs and schools in player development with a programme of events at Saturday’s home game. For more info, visit:

(15-9) Will Addison (Upper Eden RUFC), Ethan McIlroy (Ballynahinch RFC), James Hume (C) (Instonians RFC), Jude Postlethwaite (Lisburn RFC), Mike Lowry (Dromore RFC), Billy Burns (Walcot RFC), John Cooney (Gonzaga College);

(1-8) Steven Kitshoff (Maties RFC), Tom Stewart (Belfast Academy), Tom O’Toole (Ashbourne RFC), Cormac Izuchukwu (Tullamore RFC), Harry Sheridan (Civil Service NI RFC), David McCann (Cooke RFC), Marcus Rea (Ballymena RFC), Nick Timoney (Blackrock College).

Replacements: John Andrew (Ballymena RFC), Andrew Warwick (Ballymena RFC), Scott Wilson (Dromore RFC), Kieran Treadwell (Chipstead RFC), Sean Reffell (Bromley RFC), Nathan Doak (Lisburn RFC), Luke Marshall (Ballymena RFC), Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch RFC).

Images & Content – Ulster Rugby

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Darcy Graham injury update



Darcy Graham injury update

Darcy Graham will be out of action for three to four months with the Scotland internationalist set to undergo surgery to repair a groin injury next week.

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “We really feel for Darcy [Graham] because he is a player that puts his heart and soul into rugby. He loves playing for this club while he is a proud Scotsman who takes great pride in representing his country.

“We’ve got every confidence Darcy will work his way back from next week’s surgery with the same drive and determination in which he trains and plays.”

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Match Preview: Ospreys



Match Preview: Ospreys

Get set for Friday night’s crucial BKT United Rugby Championship clash against Ospreys at Hive Stadium (1 March, kick-off 7.35pm) with our match preview.


Tickets can be purchased right up until kick-off HERE. Gates open at 6pm ahead of a 7.35pm kick-off.


There’s plenty on the go at Hive Stadium as match night returns to the capital!

  • Live music from Dead Sea Souls
  • Support our Services activity in the Fan Zone
  • Live URC action in the Clubhouse
  • Get a photo with the Calcutta & Doddie Weir Cups in The Clubhouse

Read our What’s on Guide HERE.


Mark Bennett makes his 100th appearance for the club as one of four changes made to the capital XV for the visit of Ospreys.

Mark Bennett takes the place of James Lang who drops to the bench, with Matt Currie moving to the 12 jersey.

Ben Vellacott – who skippers the side – starts in place of Ali Price, with the British & Irish Lion selected on the bench.

Sam Skinner returns from Scotland camp taking the place of Marshall Sykes, who is also named among the replacements.

Tom Dodd starts at blindside flanker in place of Jamie Ritchie who is retained by Scotland.

Full team news can be read HERE.


Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “We’re excited to be back home at Hive Stadium for what is a hugely important fixture for the club.

“With the log so tight and teams around us playing each other this weekend, a win is imperative in maintaining our push for a top-eight finish.

“Ospreys are playing with no fear, and they’ll travel north with plenty of confidence, but we’re at home where we love to play under the lights. It’s Friday night and the Edinburgh supporters will be out in full force – it’s set to be a brilliant occasion.”

He continued: “We’re delighted to see Mark [Bennett] make his 100th appearance for the club. He’s been a brilliant servant to Edinburgh Rugby and thoroughly deserves a start on a special night for him personally.”


Its’s tight at the top…

With a 7-3 record, Edinburgh sit in fifth place in the Championship on 30 points.

With a 6-4 record, Ospreys sit in seventh place in the Championship on 29 points.

That makes Friday night’s clash at Hive Stadium massive in terms of each team’s aspirations for a top eight finish.

Ospreys are flying high having won 5-in-a-row, while Edinburgh have lost just one game at home so far this season and will be hoping for a massive win to keep momentum going heading into the business end of the year.


Edinburgh claimed a decisive 45-21 victory over the Welsh region in the final home game of last season – check out highlights below:


Edinburgh Rugby’s only two defeats in the last seven rounds of the BKT United Rugby Championship were at home to Benetton in Round 6 and away at Glasgow in Round 8.

Edinburgh’s only defeat in their last five fixtures against Welsh regions in the Championship was 14-42 at Scarlets in February 2023.

Ospreys have won their last five first team fixtures since their 5-38 defeat at Montpellier in Round 2 of the EPCR Challenge Cup.

Ospreys only victory outside of Wales in the BKT United Rugby Championship since October 2021 was on their visit to Zebre in January 2023.

Ospreys have won just once in Scotland since March 2017: 25-10 against today’s opponents, Edinburgh, at Scottish Gas Murrayfield in October 2020.

Edinburgh won 45-21 the last time the two sides met, at Hive Stadium in April 2023.

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Content & Images from – Edinburgh Rugby

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