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Ulster Name Side for Season Opener

Ulster have announced their squad for their first game of the PRO14 season against the Ospreys this weekend

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has handed three new players their debuts for Ulster’s opening game of the PRO14 season against the Ospreys in the Kingspan Stadium on Friday at 19 35.

Summer signings Jack McGrath, Sam Carter and Matt Faddes have all been given the nod in by McFarland and come straight into the starting XV. 

McGrath brings a huge amount of competition experience with him, having signed from rivals Leinster and having missed out on a place on the plane to Japan for the Rugby World Cup with Ireland will want to make an impression on his debut. 

Joining McGrath in the front-row are captain Rob Herring and Tom O’Toole, while Carter links up with the ever-impressive Kieran Treadwell in the second-row, with club captain Iain Hendeson currently away on international duty, making his 50th cap on Saturday against Japan. 

In the back-row it is Matthew Rea at blind-flanker, Jordi Murphy at openside and Sean Reidy completes the pack from No 8. 

Another man who missed out on the World Cup with Ireland, John Cooney, starts in the half-backs with Billy Burns, with James Hume and Luke Marshell out the pair in the centre. 

There is a welcome return to competitive rugby for winger Craig Gilroy, who makes his first appearance for nearly a year on the left-wing, with Rob Lyttle occupying the right-wing and Faddes at full-back. 

With the likes of Eric O’Sullivan, David Shanahan and Louis Ludik on the bench McFarland has experience to call upon if needed. 

The home side are currently without Will Addison, Marty Moore, Nick Tomoney, Robert Baloucoune, Marcel Coetzee and Gareth Milasinovich, all of which are missing through injury.

Ulster will be hoping to kick-start their campaign with a win while some of the other teams main players are away at the World Cup and knowing that players will return from injury to help boost the team in the coming weeks. 

Starting XV:

Matt Faddes; Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall, James Hume, Rob Lyttle; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring (Capt), Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Sam Carter, Matthew Rea, Jordi Murphy, Sean Reidy.

Replacements:

John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane, Alan O’Connor, Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Michael Lowry, Louis Ludik.


URC

Squad Update | Team News Ahead Of Zebre At Musgrave Park

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The Munster squad returned to training at the HPC today (Tuesday) ahead of Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship round 3 game against Zebre at Musgrave Park (5.05pm).

Buy match tickets here.

Nine Munster players are in Bloemfontein with Emerging Ireland: Thomas Ahern, Diarmuid Barron, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly, Antoine Frisch, John Hodnett, Calvin Nash, Roman Salanoa and Josh Wycherley.

As confirmed by the IRFU at the weekend, Alex Kendellen has been ruled out of the Emerging Ireland tour and will complete his return-to-play protocols.

Injury Update in association with Laya Healthcare

Jean Kleyn sustained a concussion against Dragons on Sunday and will follow the graduated return-to-play protocols.

Peter O’Mahony (ankle) is expected to return to training later this week.

Keith Earls was removed with a suspected hamstring injury. He will be further assessed by the medical team this week.

In a positive update, Rory Scannell (nose) will return to squad training this week.

Unavailable: Gavin Coombes (groin), RG Snyman (knee), Jack Daly (knee), Andrew Conway (knee).

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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URC

Additional terracing confirmed for October interpros

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Following huge demand for tickets, Connacht Rugby can confirm that temporary terracing will be installed for both BKT United Rugby Championship interpros against Munster and Leinster next month.

The game against Munster on Friday 7th October is set to be a momentous occasion as the club plays its first fixture on the new state-of-the-art, artificial surface.

Just seven days later neighbours Leinster visit the West of Ireland, in what will be another crucial game in the context of the overall season.

The terraces will be located at the Bohermore and College Road ends of the ground, bringing the capacity of The Sportsground up to 8,129.

Tickets for both games are on sale now at connachtrugby.ie/tickets, and supporters are urged to act quickly to avoid disappointment.

We are also now offering our fans a special October Interpros bundle. This bundle will guarantee your place in The Sportsground for these can’t-miss October games.

Images & Content from – Connacht Rugby


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URC

Academy Update | September 2022

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We spoke to Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Manager Ian Costello last week for the first update of the new season from the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.

New recruits Fionn Gibbons, Darragh McSweeney, Evan O’Connell, Jack Oliver, Ruadhan Quinn and Kieran Ryan have all hit the ground running and seen game-time at various levels over the past number of weeks.

19-year-old second year Academy member and UCC clubman Edwin Edogbo made his senior debut against Dragons on Sunday becoming the first Cobh Pirates player to line out for Munster in the professional era. Edwin missed all of last year due to an achilles injury but impressed in pre-season and was rewarded with a debut in Wales.

Hear the latest from Costello below.

Munster A v Connacht A last week…

“It was a good run-out. They had played a game the week before and our game against Ulster had been cancelled so they were a bit more clinical.

“We dominated possession and territory but they were more accurate, we were a little bit rusty at key times but it was a good exercise overall.”

New recruits…

“Kieran Ryan and Darragh McSweeney, the two props, are getting on really well. Ruadhan Quinn obviously hit the ground running with 78 minutes against Gloucester in pre-season, which was great for him to get a senior run-out. Evan O’Connell was released back to the Munster U19s and he played the Interpros with them and they won two out of three.

“Jack Oliver played his first game for Munster in a long time against Connacht A and he had a club run-out with Garryowen the week before. It was his first time playing in seven months so it was great to have him back as well. Fionn Gibbons had his first run-out since joining us against Connacht too.”

Academy players Tony Butler, Edwin Edogbo, Cian Hurley, Daniel Okeke, Conor Phillips getting game-time in pre-season games…

“It’s fantastic. And to have so many players away with Emerging Ireland now, it gives our lads the chance to push for a squad spot in the URC for the next three games.

“We’ll be stretched a bit at senior level with the 10 guys selected for Emerging Ireland so we’d be hopeful there will be a couple of Academy players in the mix over the next couple of weeks and anyone who isn’t in the mix will be playing with their club.

“On the injury front, Patrick Campbell (toe) was injured with the Ireland U20s over the summer and he’s a couple of weeks away.

“Daniel Okeke tweaked his hamstring in the A game last weekend so hopefully he won’t be out for too long.”

AIL season kicking off this weekend…

“The players will all go back to their clubs this week and hopefully the majority of the lads will be playing in AIL round one, if they’re not involved in the URC.

“We have been drip-feeding the lads back with their clubs so a number of guys have been training with their clubs over the last few Tuesdays so we try to keep them connected to their club as much as possible.”

Summer training camps for underage sides…

“We had a residential camp in UL over the summer. We put a lot of time, effort and resources into a three-week residential camp. We brought 15 under-20 players to train with the U19s. The U20s don’t have an Interprovincial tournament so they’re essentially the guys we’re looking at to move onto the next level. Guys like Daniel Hurley trained with them, he’s back from a cruciate injury, Shay McCarthy who had gone away with the Ireland U20s…these are the kind of guys we’re looking at long-term as well.

“We brought that group of 15 to train with 30 U19s so that was class. Off the back of those training camps, the Munster U18s won the Interpros, the U19s won two out of three so there’s a lot of good players emerging out of that and it was good to validate it with winning an Interpro as well.”

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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