Connect with us


Ulster name team for Leinster clash



Ulster ready for top of the table clash against Leinster

9 minutes ago


Dan McFarland’s men will be looking to back-up the win they secured over their Interpro rival the last time the two sides met at the RDS this Saturday (KO 7 35pm) in Round 9 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.

As rivalries go, a match-up between Ulster and Leinster is as a good as it gets, as the two teams currently leading the way in the league go into battle against each other this weekend.

After securing a significant 20 points to 10 victory in Dublin this time last year, a first win at the RDS for the province in over two decades, Ulster will be hoping the blend of experience and youth on their team sheet, including the returning Irish internationals, will put on a repeat performance on Saturday.

Head Coach, Dan McFarland, said:

“We’ve four big games before Christmas, and the first one is against Leinster. I don’t think there’s a tougher task in club rugby. They have so many quality players, but it’s a challenge we absolutely relish.”

Both teams will come together ahead of kick-off for a moment’s applause to mark the sad passing of former Scotland international, and Motor Neurone Disease campaigner and fundraiser, Doddie Weir, who Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie, paid tribute to earlier this week on behalf of the club.

Henderson leads the charge as Ireland internationals return

Ulster captain, Iain Henderson, who made a welcome return from injury last week in front of a packed-out Kingspan Stadium, has been named to start at blindside flanker and he will be joined in the back row by fellow Irish international Nick Timoney and Marcus Rea, who continues to impress in a competitive loose forward division.

The second row sees Kieran Treadwell back in the white jersey after another successful stint with Ireland, and he is partnered with Alan O’Connor, who has 163 Ulster caps to his name.

Props, Andy Warwick and Marty Moore, line-out alongside last week’s Player of the Match, Tom Stewart, after the hooker scored a brace of tries in a 36-15 home win over Zebre Parma.

Ulster’s top point-scorer, John Cooney, is paired with fly-half, Billy Burns, in one of the club’s most established partnerships.

The centre sees Stuart McCloskey, who put in a barn-storming performance in the green shirt when he lined-out in all three November Test games, start together with fellow Ireland teammate, James Hume, for the first time this season following Hume’s return from injury.

Meanwhile, 23-year-old, Stewart Moore, who put the bonus-point try on the scoresheet in Round 8, forms a youthful back three with Ethan McIlroy and Mike Lowry, who both played their part in last year’s win over Leinster, which was only the second time the province has secured victory at the RDS.

McFarland has opted for a 6-2 split on the bench with the replacement forwards including Ireland’s Rob Herring, Emerging Ireland graduates, Callum Reid and Tom O’Toole, along with Matty Rea, Springbok, Duane Vermeulen, and Wallaby, Sam Carter. Nathan Doak, who was responsible for 15 points on last week’s scoreboard, and Jacob Stockdale will cover the backline reinforcements.

Ulster team to play Leinster, BKT United Rugby Championship Round 9, Saturday 3 December at RDS Arena (KO 7 35pm), live on TG4, Viaplay &

(15-9): Michael Lowry, Ethan McIlroy, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Stewart Moore, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8): Andy Warwick, Tom Stewart, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Iain Henderson (Captain), Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Callum Reid, Tom O’Toole, Sam Carter, Duane Vermeulen, Nathan Doak, Jacob Stockdale, Matty Rea.

Images & Content – Ulster Rugby


Ulster ready for Dragons in Origin Round at Kingspan Stadium



Ulster ready for Dragons in Origin Round at Kingspan Stadium

31 seconds ago


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

Continue Reading


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.”

Spread the word

Content & Images from – Edinburgh Rugby

Continue Reading


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.

Spread the word

Content & Images from – Edinburgh Rugby

Continue Reading