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Ulster out in force for Exeter Chiefs pre-season clash

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Ulster out in force for Exeter Chiefs pre-season clash

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Dan McFarland’s men will be putting their pre-season preparations to the test against the Premiership side in this Friday’s Bank of Ireland Pre-Season Friendly (7pm, Kingspan Stadium).

With both sides keen to make an impression ahead of the resumption of their United Rugby Championship and Gallagher Premiership campaigns, Ulster and Exeter will face each other for the first time since they met in the 2016/17 Heineken Champions Cup.

The Ulster faithful will be treated to a first-look at the province’s latest signings with Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Frank Bradshaw-Ryan, Sean Reffell, Michael McDonald, and Jake Flannery all lining out as starters.

Looking ahead to his first run-out for Ulster, Toomaga-Allen, said:

“I’m excited to run out in front of our supporters and for the hype around playing at Kingspan Stadium under the Friday night lights. I want to show my teammates and the coaches what I can do to earn their respect. That will be a big thing for me tomorrow night against Exeter Chiefs.”

Ticketing Info

This fixture is included in Season Ticket packages.

A 2022/23 Season Ticket is the only way to ensure your place at the pre-season friendly versus Exeter, every URC regular season fixture and the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage games against reigning champions La Rochelle and Sale Sharks. For more information, or to buy your Season Ticket in time for Friday’s game, visitulster.rugby/seasontickets.

Match tickets are still available for Friday’s game, priced from just £10 for Juniors and £15 for Adults. Secure yours now at ulster.rugby/buytickets.

Extended Squad Named

McFarland has named an extended match-day squad which includes a blend of youth and experience, with Jordi Murphy leading the team out as captain at number eight. Murphy will be joined in the back row by Academy flanker Harry Sheridan and new signing Sean Reffell. In the front row, Callum Reid packs down with Declan Moore, who made his move from Munster official this season, and Jeff Toomaga-Allen. Another summer signing, Frank Bradshaw-Ryan, and Sam Carter are paired together in the second row.

Behind the pack, new half-backs Michael McDonald and Jake Flannery will get their first outing for Ulster. Ian Madigan and Angus Curtis are paired in midfield, with Rob Lyttle, Aaron Sexton, and Shea O’Brien, who has been awarded an Ulster contract after impressing for City of Armagh, named in the back three.

Included among the raft of replacements who will be hoping to test their legs and lungs ahead of the first URC game against Connacht at home on Saturday 17 September are Jacob Stockdale and Cormac Izuchukwu, who will both be making a welcome return from injury layoff.

Ulster team to play Exeter Chiefs, Bank of Ireland Pre-Season Friendly, Friday 2 September at Kingspan Stadium (KO 7pm), live on BBC 2 NI and BBC iPlayer (UK only) and Ulster Rugby Recast channel (outside UK):

(15-9): Shea O’Brien, Aaron Sexton, Angus Curtis, Ian Madigan, Rob Lyttle, Jake Flannery, Michael McDonald;

(1-8): Callum Reid, Declan Moore, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Frank Bradshaw-Ryan, Sam Carter, Harry Sheridan, Sean Reffell, Jordi Murphy (Captain).

Replacements from: Eric O’Sullivan, Tom Stewart, John Andrew, Marty Moore, Gareth Milasinovich, Alan O’Connor, Cormac Izuchukwu, Matty Rea, Marcus Rea, Greg Jones, Nathan Doak, Conor McKee, Billy Burns, Jacob Stockdale, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy, Stewart Moore, Rory Telfer.

Images & Content – Ulster Rugby


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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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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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Leo Cullen issues injury update

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Leo Cullen has issued an injury update ahead of Friday’s BKT United Rugby Championship game in the Kingspan Stadium against Ulster Rugby (KO: 7.35pm – live on BBC NI, RTÉ, Premier Sports and URC TV).

There was positive news for Joe McCarthy (ankle) and Jordan Larmour (knee) who both came through the game against Benneton Rugby with no issues after their return from injury.

McCarthy will however be unavailable for the game on Friday as he has joined up with the rest of the Emerging Ireland squad that departed yesterday for Bloemfontein ahead of their participation in the Toyota Challenge.

Jamison Gibson-Park missed the game on Friday in the RDS Arena through illness but is expected to train as normal this week.

Cullen also gave an update on Ciarán Frawley who was withdrawn from the game against Benetton Rugby early in the second half with a shoulder injury. As a result he will now miss the Emerging Ireland tour and will instead be assessed by the Leinster Rugby medical team.

Will Connors will also be further assessed this week for a back injury as he was withdrawn in the second half as a precaution.

Another player to be further assessed this week is James Ryan who was a late withdrawal from the match day squad on Friday with a minor hamstring injury sustained in the captain’s run on Thursday.

There was some positive news for Liam Turner who is nearing the completion of his rehabilitation for a toe injury and hopes to start integrating back into team training this week.

Finally, Cullen confirmed that Caelan Doris will miss the game against Ulster Rugby at the weekend. Doris was withdrawn for a Head Injury Assessment in the first half against Benetton Rugby and will now enter the Graduated Return to Play Protocols.

Cullen had no update on Hugo Keenan (abdominal & knee injury), James Lowe (calf), James Tracy (neck), Charlie Ryan (knee) and Tommy O’Brien (knee).

Images & Content from Leinster Rugby


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