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Ulster name team to face Munster

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Ulster ready for match-up against Munster

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Meeting for the first time since Ulster’s 36-17 victory over Munster in last season’s URC quarter-final at Kingspan Stadium, the Ulster men are this time on the road to Thomond Park to face their Interpro rivals in Round 7 of the BKT United Rugby Championship on Saturday (KO 5 15pm).

With a week of preparation and recovery under their belts, Ulster will be looking to build on a significant win over the Emirates Lions in South Africa with another performance away from home, this week against Graham Rowntree’s side.

Now in the habit of historic wins, with last season seeing Ulster pick-up wins at Stade Marcel-Michelin, the RDS and Stadium de Toulouse, Dan McFarland’s men will be looking to put recent challenges behind them to come home with a win, which would be the first at Thomond Park for the province since 2014.

Sitting second in the table with 21 points, and a postponed game still to play, Ulster currently have the lead on this week’s home team who, after a number of setbacks early in the season, are placed eleventh in the league table.

On this, Head Coach, Dan McFarland, said:

“A team like Munster has certain qualities that don’t go away. They might not have played their best rugby in the first part of the season, but there are strands within their game that make them extremely competitive, and I expect nothing less at the weekend.

“There is a reason they are so strong at home, and we’ll be expecting exactly that. It’s going to be a great challenge to get a win, but that’s a goal of ours.”

John Andrew set to hit 100 caps off the bench

Replacement hooker, John Andrew, will hit the 100 caps milestone for the province if called upon, as new signing, Rory Sutherland, who is also named among the forward replacements looks set to make his debut in the Ulster shirt.

Captain, Alan O’Connor, will once again lead the side alongside Wallaby, Sam Carter, in a second row that remains unchanged from the 37-39 victory in Ellis Park a fortnight ago.

Ulster born and bred, Andy Warwick, is selected at loosehead prop with Marty Moore, who last week received the call-up for next Friday’s Ireland ‘A’ fixture against the All Blacks XV, at tighthead prop, and hooker, Tom Stewart, who returns to more local shores after touring with the victorious Emerging Ireland squad, completing the front row.

22-year-old David McCann and this season’s new recruit, Sean Reffell, will start alongside the experience of Springbok number eight, Duane Vermeulen, to complete the pack.

Nathan Doak, who recently played opposite his childhood hero Ruan Pienaar in the Emerging Ireland victory over the Toyota Cheetahs, is named at scrum half, and partners Billy Burns, who scored one of Ulster’s five tries in the province’s recent fast-paced win in South Africa.

Looking to repeat his Player of the Match performance against Munster in a win that saw Ulster into last season’s URC semi-final will be James Hume, as he makes his return from an injury picked-up on international duty in New Zealand during the summer. Similar to teammate, Marty Moore, he will be involved in next Friday’s Ireland ‘A’ game, and partners up with Luke Marshall, who has been in fine form since making his own comeback from injury.

Saturday’s starting line-up is completed by a youthful back three made up of Ethan McIlroy, Ben Moxham and Stewart Moore, who come in with an average age of 22.

Alongside John Andrew and Rory Sutherland, forward cover on the bench comes from Gareth Milasinovich, Cormac Izuchukwu, and Jordi Murphy. On the bench for the backs are John Cooney, Angus Curtis, and Craig Gilroy.

Ulster team to play Munster, BKT United Rugby Championship Round 7, Saturday 29 October at Thomond Park (KO 5 15pm) live on RTÉ, Premier Sports & URC.tv.

(15-9): Stewart Moore, Ben Moxham, James Hume, Luke Marshall, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, Nathan Doak;

(1-8): Andy Warwick, Tom Stewart, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor (Captain), Sam Carter, David McCann, Sean Reffell, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: John Andrew, Rory Sutherland, Gareth Milasinovich, Cormac Izuchukwu, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Angus Curtis, Craig Gilroy.

Images & Content – Ulster 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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URC

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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