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Ulster ready for Cardiff clash



Ulster ready for Cardiff clash

22 minutes ago


Dan McFarland’s side go into this Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship Round 15 fixture versus Cardiff Rugby on a high after defeating Cell C Sharks last weekend in Durban.

After doing the double on South African soil this season – a first for a Northern hemisphere team in the URC – Ulster will be looking to back it up with a win in Cardiff Arms Park.

Currently sat in third place with 49 points, the Ulster men will continue their push to secure home advantage in the play-off stages, in an increasingly tightly-contested league table.

Cardiff, who ended a three-match losing streak at home by defeating Benetton 30-13 in Round 14, will be keen to get what points they can from Saturday’s game, given they are currently sat in ninth position, which puts their hopes of continuing into the knockout stages of the competition at risk.

Assistant Coach, Dan Soper, reinforced in this week’s media briefing how important table rankings are at this point in the season:

We always want to be in control of our own destiny, and not have to look at other results when it comes to where we’re going to finish in the league. When we’re winning, it’s in our hands. We want to find ourselves in the position of having a home play-off game.”

Rob Herring returns from Ireland duty to skipper Ulster

Hooker, Rob Herring, who recently started against France for Ireland, is back from international duty to lead the Ulster men. He is joined in the front row by two fellow internationals in Scotland’s loosehead prop, Rory Sutherland, and tighthead, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, who earned three caps for Samoa in the most recent Autumn Nations series.

Ireland international, Kieran Treadwell, who was called into the Irish set-up for last week’s fixture against Italy, is named in the second row alongside Wallaby, Sam Carter.

With RBAI qualifying for the Danske Bank Schools Cup final this week, their former schoolboy captain in 2018, Dave McCann, is named in the back row alongside fellow Ulster Rugby Academy graduate, Marcus Rea, who led the URC stats for turnovers in the 2021-22 season. The Number Eight jersey belongs to Nick Timoney, who was responsible for the bonus point try last time out against Cardiff.

The pairing of Nathan Doak and Billy Burns that saw Ulster secure a 35-5 home win over the DHL Stormers in Round 13 is back together again, with the 21-year-old scrum-half responsible for scoring nine points when the Welsh men were last in Belfast.

Stewart Moore, who was crowned Player of the Match this time last year against Cardiff, is named in the midfield alongside James Hume, who was responsible for an intercept try that same night.

A young back three sees Jacob Stockdale, involved with Ireland in this year’s Guinness Six Nations campaign, link-up with Mike Lowry, who retains his place at full back from last week’s win, together with Ben Moxham who comes in as a change on the wing.

Forward replacements this week include Tom Stewart, the only player last weekend in the URC to score a brace of tries, along with Callum Reid, Gareth Milasinovich, Alan O’Connor, and one of the top tacklers from the win over the Cell C Sharks, Harry Sheridan. On the bench for the backs, John Cooney is joined by Jude Postlethwaite, who could earn his first Ulster cap if called upon, and Ethan McIlroy.

Ulster team to play Cardiff Rugby, BKT United Rugby Championship Round 15, Saturday 4 March at Cardiff Arms Park (KO 7 35pm), live on ViaPlay and

(15-9): Mike Lowry, Ben Moxham, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, Nathan Doak;

(1-8): Rory Sutherland, Rob Herring (Captain), Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Kieran Treadwell, Sam Carter, Dave McCann, Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: Tom Stewart, Callum Reid, Gareth Milasinovich, Alan O’Connor, Harry Sheridan, John Cooney, Jude Postlethwaite, Ethan McIlroy.

Images & Content – Ulster Rugby


Match Preview: Connacht



Match Officials

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 89th competition game) Assistant: Chris Busby, Paul Haycock (both IRFU)
TMO: Sean Brickell (WRU)

Recent meetings

Date Venue C E Connacht scorers Edinburgh scorers
Fri 23 Mar 18 Sportsground 22 29 Tiernan O’Halloran(T) Tom Farrell(T) Jack Carty(2C/P) Finlay Bealham(T) Duncan Weir(T/C/3P) Duhan van der Merwe(T) Jaco van der Walt(P) Dougie Fife(T)
Fri 14 Sep 18 BT Murrayfield 10 17 Jack Carty(C/P) Niyi Adeolokun(T) Pierre Schoeman(T) Duhan van der Merwe(T) Jaco van der Walt(2C/P)
Fri 21 Feb 20 BT Murrayfield 14 41 Tiernan O’Halloran(2T) Jack Carty(2C) Pierre Schoeman(T) Duhan van der Merwe(T) Simon Berghan(T) Simon Hickey(3C/2P) Penalty Try(2T)
Sun 25 Oct 20 BT Murrayfield 37 26 Tom Daly(3C/P) Caolin Blade(T) Sammy Arnold(T) Shane Delahunt(T) Conor Fitzgerald(P) Alex Wootton(2T) Mike Willemse(2T) Jaco van der Walt(3C) Nic Groom(T) Andrew Davidson(T)
Sat 13 Mar 21 Sportsground 14 15 Jack Carty(2C) Shane Delahunt(T) Sean O’Brien(T) Nathan Chamberlain(T/C/P) Magnus Bradbury(T)
Fri 4 Mar 22 DAM Health Stadium 8 56 Peter Sullivan(T) Jack Carty(P) Glen Young(T) Ramiro Moyano Joya(T) Dave Cherry(T) Ben Vellacott(T) Emiliano Boffelli(T/8C) Blair Kinghorn(T) Henry Immelman(2T)

Overall record

Played 35, Connacht won 14, Edinburgh won 19 with 2 matches drawn.

Did you know?

  • Connacht Rugby have won their last four BKT United Rugby Championship fixtures since their defeat to Leinster in Dublin on New Year’s Day.
  • The Irishmen have not won five in succession in the Championship since they were Champions in 2015/16.
  • Connacht have lost their last three matches against Scottish opponents.
  • Edinburgh Rugby’s only victory in their last eight BKT United Rugby Championship encounters was 24-17 at home to Zebre Parma in Round 12.
  • The Scotsmen have won just twice away from home in the Championship this campaign, both in October, beating Zebre in Parma and Cardiff at the Arms Park.
  • Edinburgh have beaten an Irish province just three times since November 2019 and all were against today’s opponents, Connacht.
  • Connacht have won only one of their last seven clashes with Edinburgh: 37-26 at BT Murrayfield in October 2020.
  • Edinburgh have won on their last two visits to Galway.

URC Form

COMPARISON Connacht Edinburgh
Last 3 URC results: 28 Jan – Lions (H) W 43-24 28 Jan – Sharks (H) L 19-22
18 Feb – Zebre (A) W 57-34 18 Feb – Scarlets (A) L 14-42
4 Mar – Dragons (A) W 22-20 4 Mar – Leinster (H) L 27-47
URC 2022/23 8th – W8 D0 L7 – 39pts 12th – W5 D0 L10 – 32pts
URC form LlWWww (20pts) lLWLlL (9pts)
Top try scorer 8 – Caolin Blade 9 – Darcy Graham
Top points scorer 69 – Jack Carty 60 – Emiliano Boffelli

Content & Images from – Edinburgh Rugby

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Squad Update | Preparations Continue For Glasgow At Thomond



The Munster squad continued their training schedule at the HPC on Monday morning as preparations continue for Saturday evening’s vital URC clash against Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park (5.15pm).

It is our final home game of the URC regular season with tickets available here.

See the state of play in the URC ahead of round 16 here.

On the senior international front, Peter O’Mahony and Conor Murray helped Ireland to a Grand Slam-clinching victory over England in Dublin on Saturday.

Tadhg Beirne, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley and Dave Kilcoyne also featured during the successful campaign. Joey Carbery, Gavin Coombes, Keith Earls and Roman Salanoa were part of the squad at different stages over the past two months.

Ben Healy made his Scotland debut as a replacement on Saturday, steering the team to victory over Italy at Murrayfield.

Academy player Ruadhán Quinn (Old Crescent) and fellow Munster men Brian Gleeson (Garryowen) and Danny Sheahan (UCC) helped the Ireland U20s to their second Grand Slam in-a-row with a victory over England at Musgrave Park on Sunday. Gleeson picked up his second Player of the Match award of the campaign after another excellent display.

Academy man Evan O’Connell (UL Bohemian) and Jacob Sheahan (UCC) also featured over the campaign with Academy player Jack Oliver (Garryowen) and Conall Henchy (DUFC) part of the squad.

Craig Casey, Gavin Coombes, Jack Crowley, Dave Kilcoyne, Roman Salanoa and Ben Healy have returned to training at the HPC ahead of Munster v Glasgow.

Peter O’Mahony and Conor Murray are on a down week after both playing in all five games of Ireland’s 6 Nations campaign and will return to the HPC next week.

There is good news on the injury front for Tom Ahern (shoulder) and Mike Haley (ankle) as they both return to full team training this week.

On the Academy front, there is a similarly positive injury update for Edwin Edogbo (ankle) as he also returns to full team training.

Continuing to rehab: Niall Scannell (shoulder), Liam Coombes (thigh), Jeremy Loughman (thigh), Keith Earls (calf), Tadhg Beirne (ankle), Liam O’Connor (neck), Chris Moore (neck), Eoin O’Connor (shoulder), Paddy Kelly (head), Jack Daly (knee), Andrew Conway (knee).


URC Round 16 – Saturday, March 25

Munster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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Munster Rugby Unveil Plans For Limerick Centre of Excellence



Munster Rugby have submitted a planning application to Limerick City and County Council for the development of a new sports facility in Rosbrien, Limerick.

The proposed new facility would be built primarily for Munster’s underage and development sides, and the surrounding community with local clubs, schools and community groups set to benefit.

Incorporated into the plan is an indoor full-size pitch; a state-of-the-art artificial full-size pitch and grass training pitch, both of which will be floodlit; a gym; clubhouse and administration building. The proposal also makes provision for an amenity walkway, greenspace, secure bicycle parking and limited parking.

This development is hailed as a major expansion of the sports facilities available to the grassroots game and the sporting community across the province, and it will be available for use to a wide range of clubs, schools, and organisations in the region and beyond.

The province, with a base for the elite game at the High Performance Centre in the University of Limerick, is already progressing with a Centre of Excellence in Musgrave Park with work to commence later this year, and last year partnered with Fethard Town Park in establishing a Regional Centre of Excellence.

Commenting on the exciting plans, Munster Rugby CEO Ian Flanagan said, “We are always looking to develop our infrastructure across the province in ensuring we can develop and resource our grassroots game leading to further participation in sport.

“This is an ongoing strategic objective of ours and we believe a facility such as this, in the heartland of Limerick, will hugely benefit the local clubs and schools and ensure young people have access to world class facilities.

“The plans we are submitting will not only benefit rugby, but this development will also improve the sporting and recreational facilities available to the surrounding community and we are hopeful of a positive planning outcome.”

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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