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Ulster Rugby to trial safe return of supporters this weekend

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Press Release from Ulster Rugby:

Ulster Rugby will welcome 600 supporters to the 18,211-seater Kingspan Stadium on Friday night for the first game of the 2020/21 Guinness PRO14 season.

The trial to reintroduce supporters and other valued members of the Ulster Rugby family follows a comprehensive consultation process with local government, Belfast City Council and the IRFU. In total, around 850 people will attend the season opener against Benetton Rugby.

The event provides the club with the opportunity to work with supporters, to test a safe and manageable return to operations at Kingspan Stadium. Fans will be asked to provide feedback on their experience, to ensure the club continues to provide a safe and enjoyable experience in the weeks and months ahead.

All 600 tickets will be made available to #TogetherUlster Members only via an online ballot process. 300 Members will be randomly selected and granted the opportunity to purchase two tickets each.

Commenting on the announcement, Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie, said:

“Following a number of very challenging months for us all, I’m encouraged that this weekend will mark the measured return of a limited number of spectators to Kingspan Stadium.

“It seems only fitting that the fans who chose to support us by buying a membership, during what is likely to be one of the most difficult times we will face as a club, will be able to join us in the stands as we kick-off the new Guinness PRO14 season at home.

“This event is the culmination of a considerable amount of planning and preparation from across Ulster Rugby – together with the IRFU, Belfast City Council and local government – to ensure this is a safe and managed return to the Friday night lights.

“We hope the upcoming match will be the solid foundation on which we can continue to build towards once again being able to all stand up together.”

Friday night’s match will be fully seated, in groups of two, with physically distanced seating available for supporters in the Grandstand, Memorial Stand and AbbeyAutoline Family Stand. All tickets are priced at £20 each – seats will be randomly allocated in one of the three stands.

The online ballot will be open for 24 hours from 2pm on Tuesday 29 September on the Ulster Rugby Ticket Account Manager, and account holders can apply for one pair of tickets per every Adult #TogetherUlster Membership held. All successful applicants will be notified via email by 4pm on Wednesday 30 September. They will then have until 10am on Thursday 1 October to process payment and confirm their ticket purchase.


URC

Peter O’Mahony Steps Down After Over 10 Years As Munster Captain

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Munster Rugby can confirm that Peter O’Mahony has made the decision to step down as squad captain after over 10 years leading the province.

O’Mahony first captained Munster in a competitive game on September 3, 2011 at the age of 21. It was just his 12th appearance for the province and he led the side for the opening five games of that season.

He took over the Munster captaincy on a permanent basis ahead of the 2013/14 season following the departure of Doug Howlett.

The 2022/23 season was O’Mahony’s 10th year as squad captain and ended with glory in Cape Town as he lifted the URC title with Keith Earls after a thrilling win over the Stormers.

Along with captaining Munster, he has also led Ireland and the British & Irish Lions.

Head Coach Graham Rowntree and the coaching team will select a new squad captain in due course.

Peter O’Mahony said: “Captaining Munster has been a dream come true for me.

“I grew up watching and idolising the Munster team and in particular the people who were leading the team.

“People like Mick Galwey, Jim Williams then on to the likes of ROG and Paul, who I had the privilege of playing with at the start of my career.

“I can remember the day I was asked to be captain like it was yesterday and discussing it with Paul to get his approval.

“From that day to this it’s been an utter privilege and has never been something I’ve taken for granted.

“However, having given a huge amount of thought to it, I think it is the right time to step back from the role to share my experiences and give the same guidance that I received when I took on the role.

“What an unbelievable honour it has been…and will always continue to be.”

Paying tribute to O’Mahony’s over 10 years as captain, Rowntree said: “You couldn’t pick a better leader than Pete and he has been a fantastic captain for this club.

“To lead Munster from such a young age and for so many years speaks volumes of his ability as a player on the pitch and a person off it.

“He commands huge respect and will still be a massive leader within the group. To have someone of Pete’s experience on hand to help us with the succession process is invaluable.

“We have a strong leadership group within the squad and will confirm a new squad captain in due course.”

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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URC

Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Leinster In Dublin

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The Munster squad are preparing at the HPC ahead of Saturday’s URC round 6 clash against Leinster at the Aviva Stadium (6.30pm, live on TG4).

Our next home game is against Glasgow Warriors at Musgrave Park on Friday, December 1 (7.35pm). Buy match tickets here.

Following Saturday’s win over Stormers, Peter O’Mahony (shoulder) and Jack O’Donoghue (ankle) will both go for scans on their respective injuries.

Diarmuid Barron has progressed through the return to play protocols and will be available for selection.

Continuing to rehab: Liam Coombes (shoulder), RG Snyman (chest/shoulder), Joey Carbery (wrist), Patrick Campbell (ankle), Roman Salanoa (knee), Mike Haley (hip), Cian Hurley (ankle/achilles), Niall Scannell (groin).

On the AIL front, there were nine Munster players in action for their clubs at the weekend.

In Division 1A, Keynan Knox and Fionn Gibbons helped Young Munster to a win over Terenure College at Tom Clifford Park.

Ethan Coughlan and Daniel Okeke were in action for Shannon as they were beaten by Lansdowne in Dublin.

In Division 1B, Jack Oliver and George Hadden lined out for Garryowen as they were beaten by St Mary’s College with Oliver kicking a conversion and a penalty.

Jack O’Sullivan was a try-scorer for UCC with Ben O’Connor also starting as they beat Queen’s University at the Mardyke.

In Division 1B, Evan O’Connell helped UL Bohemian to a 16-12 victory over Ballymena at Annacotty.

Tickets

URC Round 7: Friday, December 1

Munster v Glasgow Warriors, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Champions Cup Round 1: Saturday, December 9

Munster Rugby v Bayonne, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 8: Tuesday, December 26

Munster v Leinster, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Champions Cup Round 4: Saturday, January 20

Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here

Saturday, February 3

Munster Rugby v Crusaders, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 5pm; Buy final tickets here

URC Round 11: Friday, March 1

Munster v Zebre Parma, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 13: Saturday, March 30

Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16: Saturday, May 11

Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 18: Saturday, June 1

Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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URC

Team News | Munster Side To Face Stormers

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The Munster team has been named for Saturday’s URC clash against Stormers at Thomond Park (5.15pm).

Match tickets are available here.

There are four changes to the side beaten by Ulster in Belfast last week.

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Beirne return from international duty and go straight into the first XV with fellow Ireland international Conor Murray among the replacements.

Scott Buckley starts at hooker for the first time since his debut in 2021 and makes his 21st Munster appearance.

Academy winger Shay McCarthy starts on his third Munster appearance and is the only change to the backline.

Stephen Archer is also named among the replacements and in line to play his 268th game for Munster, equalling Donncha O’Callaghan’s record of most appearances for the province.

Shane Daly starts at full-back with Calvin Nash and McCarthy on either wing.

Craig Casey and Jack Crowley start together in the half-backs once again with Alex Nankivell and Antoine Frisch continuing their centre partnership.

Jeremy Loughman, Buckley and John Ryan start in the front row with Academy lock Edwin Edogbo and Beirne in the engine room.

O’Mahony, John Hodnett and Gavin Coombes complete the starting XV.

In the replacements, hooker Chris Moore is in line for his senior Munster debut off the bench after joining from Exeter University in 2022.

Josh Wycherley, record-equalling Archer, Tom Ahern and Alex Kendellen complete the back-up in the forwards.

Murray and Rory Scannell are the backline replacements.

Find out all you need to know ahead of the game here.

Munster: Shane Daly; Calvin Nash, Antoine Frisch, Alex Nankivell, Shay McCarthy; Jack Crowley, Craig Casey; Jeremy Loughman, Scott Buckley, John Ryan; Edwin Edogbo, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Chris Moore, Josh Wycherley, Stephen Archer, Tom Ahern, Jack O’Donoghue, Conor Murray, Rory Scannell, Alex Kendellen.

Press Pass

Hear from Defence Coach Denis Leamy and John Ryan ahead of the game.

Tickets

URC Round 5: Saturday, November 18

Munster v DHL Stormers, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 7: Friday, December 1

Munster v Glasgow Warriors, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Champions Cup Round 1: Saturday, December 9

Munster Rugby v Bayonne, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 8: Tuesday, December 26

Munster v Leinster, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Champions Cup Round 4: Saturday, January 20

Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here

Saturday, February 3

Munster Rugby v Crusaders, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 5pm; Buy final tickets here

URC Round 11: Friday, March 1

Munster v Zebre Parma, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 13: Saturday, March 30

Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16: Saturday, May 11

Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 18: Saturday, June 1

Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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