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Team Named | South Africa Select XV To Face Munster

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South Africa Select XV coach Mzwandile Stick has included 14 capped Springbok players in his squad to face Munster at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, in association with Pinergy, on Thursday (7.30pm, sold-out – live on Virgin Media Two).

A landmark occasion, the game will see 41,400 supporters make their way to Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the largest-ever attendance at a rugby game in the province.

We will have a full matchday information piece on Tuesday, see some info ahead of the game here with the Munster team to be named on Wednesday.

Former Munster players Thomas du Toit and Jason Jenkins join the squad having trained with the Springboks squad ahead of the weekend’s game against Ireland.

Aphelele Fassi, Cornal Hendriks, Johan Goosen and Herschel Jantjies are the capped Boks in the backline. Jean-Luc du Preez, Elrigh Louw, Ruan Nortje, Jason Jenkins and the entire front row of Du Toit, Ntuthuko Mchunu and Joseph Dweba will all bring their Test match experience to a strong and physical pack of forwards.

Du Toit will captain the team, with Hendricks serving as his deputy.

There are a further three Springboks on the replacements bench in Dan du Preez, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Grant Williams.

The backline will be boosted by exciting Stormers wings Leolin Zas and Suleiman Hartzenberg in a talented back three with Fassi, while former Junior Springbok captain and up-and-coming Sharks loose forward Phepsi Buthelezi will start in a strong loose trio with Louw and Jean-Luc du Preez.

Stick’s bench also features exciting young players in Andre-Hugo Venter, Simphiwe Matanzima and Sazi Sandi among the forwards, with former Junior Springboks Sanele Nohamba and Gianni Lombard as backline cover.

“We are pleased with the quality of the squad we selected, and we are confident that with this thrilling blend of experienced and young players have what it takes to perform against Munster,” said Stick.

“One of the main reasons for selecting SA ‘A’ and Springbok teams for the year-end tour was to cast our net as wide as possible to test our player depth less than a year out from the Rugby World Cup, while also giving as many players as possible top-class game time.

“Most of these players have either been in the Springbok squad in the last two seasons, or they have been on our radar, so this is an ideal opportunity to see them in action against what will be a physical and challenging encounter.”

Stick said the team has been working hard to get their structures in place after assembling in Cork on Sunday, and that every minute on the training field will count in ensuring that they deliver a classy showing.

“The SA ‘A’ coaches had the luxury of spending the week with the Springboks last week, where they attended all the coaches’ meetings and training sessions to give them a taste of Test rugby and what they will expect this week, and this allowed us to hit the ground running,” said Stick.

“The coaches, players and team management know what is expected of them and we are working hard to implement our structures as effectively and efficiently as possible, and I have no doubt we will be a tight unit by the time we take the field.”

Of the challenge posed by Munster, Stick said: “They are one of the top club teams and they balance their physicality with exciting backline play, so we are going to be tested thoroughly.

“That said, we have named an equally exciting team and we have a number of leaders in core positions. Every one of our players will also want to make the most of this opportunity to throw their names in the hat for World Cup selection, which will serve as an extra motivational factor to showcase their talent.”

South Africa XV: Aphelele Fassi (Sharks); Suleiman Hartzenberg (Stormers), Henco van Wyk (Lions), Cornal Hendricks (Bulls), Leolin Zas (Stormers); Johan Goosen (Bulls), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers); Ntuthuko Mchunu (Sharks), Joseph Dweba (Stormers), Thomas du Toit (C) (Sharks); Jason Jenkins (Leinster); Ruan Nortje (Bulls); Phepsi Buthelezi (Sharks), Elrigh Louw (Bulls), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks).

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


Champions Cup

Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Toulouse At Thomond

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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


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Rowlands to leave at end of season

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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


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Owen Williams agrees deal with Ospreys as injury replacement

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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


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