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Ulster Secure Services of Former All Black

Ulster have confirmed the arrival of a former All Black ahead of next season

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ulster have announced the signing of former All Black Alby Mathewson for the 2020/21 season.

Mathewson, has agreed a one-year deal which will see him return to Ireland following his year and a half stint at Munster which ended last November. 

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland is delighted to have a player of his experience come on board. 

“We are delighted that a player of Alby’s quality is set to join the squad. His leadership skills and extensive experience will be a valuable addition to our squad – especially for our younger scrum-halves as they progress in their development journeys in the months ahead. We look forward to giving him a warm welcome as he makes Ulster his new team,” he said. 

The 34-year-old certainly has an impressive CV having spent time with the Hurricanes, the Blues, Western Force, Bristol Bears, Toulon and his stay in Munster to add to his international caps. 

The scrum-half played behind Conor Murray while in the southern province, providing cover while he went to the Rugby World Cup with Ireland and will play a similar role at Ulster it seems with John Cooney top of the No 9 list. 

However, it is a positive signing for Ulster and they will hope he can have the same impact he had in Munster, where he earned many admirers for his displays in red. 


URC

Match Preview: Connacht

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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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URC

Squad Update | Preparations Continue For Glasgow At Thomond

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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).

Tickets

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

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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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