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Ulster travel back to Durban to face Sharks



Ulster travel back to Durban to face Sharks

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Following the postponement of the Round 6 URC fixture, Ulster Rugby will face the Cell C Sharks on Saturday (KO 12pm UK/Ire time) as they look to secure a second win on South African soil this season.

After a 39-37 victory over the Emirates Lions back in October, Dan McFarland’s men were preparing to do the double when illness struck the travelling squad. With Ulster now sat in third position in the BKT United Rugby Championship table, the province will be looking to bring home the maximum number of points from this weekend’s re-arranged game.

The Sharks, currently seventh in the league table with 38 points, will be looking to back-up their 7-29 win over the Lions away from home last weekend, and continue the run that has seen them win both of their previous two URC matches against Irish provinces on home soil.

Despite Ulster coming away the victors from both fixtures against South African opposition so far this season, and claiming the win when these two sides faced each other at Kingspan Stadium last season, Assistant Coach, Dan Soper, knows his side will face tough opposition in the ‘Shark tank’:

“We are physically preparing for them, and we aren’t using the travel or heat as an excuse. Last week, the Sharks overpowered the Lions, and made it clear they have very dangerous powerful players. It’s going to be an excellent challenge for us.”

World Cup-winning Springbok to captain Ulster

Springbok Duane Vermeulen will lead the Ulster men in the Number Eight jersey in a starting line-up that sees him joined in the back row by two physical and versatile players in Nick Timoney and Jordi Murphy.

The side, which can expect to face challenging temperatures, sees Alan O’Connor paired in the second row with Academy player, Harry Sheridan, who scored his first try for Ulster last weekend against Glasgow in Scotstoun Stadium.

In a change to the front row, Rory Sutherland comes in at loosehead prop, while Jeff Toomaga-Allen, who scored a try the last time out against South African opposition in the URC, retains his place at tighthead, with John Andrew set to add to his tally of over 100 caps for the province at hooker.

Scrum-half John Cooney, who racked-up 10 points when Ulster beat the Sharks last season, will be looking to repeat this performance, with Jake Flannery coming in at fly-half. Flannery was responsible for a try and four conversions in a win over the Airlink Pumas when he was last in South Africa with Emerging Ireland.

Known for his speed, Aaron Sexton, forms the back three alongside Ulster stalwart, Craig Gilroy, and Mike Lowry who scored a try last time out against Sharks, and was named Player of the Match in the province’s memorable win at Ellis Park in Johannesburg back in October.

Graduate of the Emerging Ireland tour, Stewart Moore, completes the starting line-up in a centre partnership with Luke Marshall.

Forward cover comes from Tom Stewart, Andy Warwick, Gareth Milasinovich, Cormac Izuchukwu and Dave McCann. On the bench for the backline are Dave Shanahan, Ian Madigan and Ethan McIlroy.

Ulster team to play Cell C Sharks, BKT United Rugby Championship Round 6, Saturday 25 February at Hollywoodbets Kings Park (KO 12pm UK/Ire time), live on ViaPlay and

(15-9): Mike Lowry, Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall, Stewart Moore, Aaron Sexton, Jake Flannery, John Cooney;

(1-8): Rory Sutherland, John Andrew, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Alan O’Connor, Harry Sheridan, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen (Captain).

Replacements: Tom Stewart, Andy Warwick, Gareth Milasinovich, Cormac Izuchukwu, Dave McCann, Dave Shanahan, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.

Images & Content – Ulster Rugby


All You Need To Know | Barbarians Double-Header



The Munster Men’s and Women’s team will be in action this weekend in a historic double-header against the Barbarians.

Find out all you need to know ahead of the games below.

There will be a minute’s applause for Greig Oliver ahead of the men’s game following his tragic passing in July. Hawick RFC posted a lovely piece on a commemorative event that was recently held at the club here. Read our tribute to Greig here.


Thomond Park


The women’s game kicks off at 2pm and the men’s game starts at 4.30pm.


Tickets are available to purchase here from €20 for adults and €10 for juniors right up until kick off.

The best value tickets are the Family Packs of four tickets for just €40 which include 2 Adults & 2 Juniors tickets.


Live on Access Munster, brought to you by Pinergy – see full details here.

Did you know?

The URC trophy will be on display for photos behind the North Terrace.

The first-ever Barbarians Women’s game was played against Munster at Thomond Park in 2017.

The Munster men’s team have never faced the Barbarians.

Munster News

Ticket & Matchday Info

Access Munster Live Stream

Munster Men’s training gallery

Munster Women’s training gallery

Graham Rowntree Signs New Contract


All four sides will be named before lunchtime on Friday.

Press Pass

Hear from Munster Women’s Head Coach Niamh Briggs and Men’s Head Coach Graham Rowntree ahead of the games.

URC Tickets

Tickets for all Munster men’s home game for the 2023/24 campaign are available here.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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Cardiff announce signing of new fly-half



Cardiff Rugby have added further depth to their fly-half resources with the signing of former Wales Under-20s star Arwel Robson. 

The 26-year-old arrives from Cornish Pirates where he has spent the last two seasons after leaving Dragons RFC in 2021. 

Robson has already linked up with the first-team squad and is relishing the opportunity that lies ahead at Cardiff Arms Park. 

He said: “I’m incredibly excited to make the move to Cardiff. It’s an honour to be able to play at the Arms Park and I can’t wait to get the chance to run out here for the first time.

“I grew up on the terraces of the Arms Park, in a family of Cardiff season ticket holders and I was a ball boy for years so it is a club that means a huge amount to me and my family. 

“After speaking to Matt about the style of play he wants to utilise, I’m confident it will really suit me and also continue to bring my game on.

“I’m very grateful to everyone at Cornish Pirates for the opportunity and support they gave me in the past few years. 

“I’ve played a lot of rugby down there and feel I am returning to Wales a better player and I am looking forward to continuing my development at the Arms Park.

“Cardiff also have a reputation for developing talent and the progression of players from the academy right through to the senior national team is testament to that. 

“Now I am just looking forward to getting on the training pitch and competing for game-time.”

Robson will fight for a place at fly-half alongside fellow new signing Tinus de Beer, Ben Thomas and academy duo Harrison James and Harri Wilde.

He is the fourth signing this summer, following de Beer, Ciaran Parker and Rhys Litterick, and head coach Matt Sherratt is pleased to add to his fly-half resources. 

Sherratt said: “We are delighted have have signed Arwel for this season.  He has a good skill set, will challenge the line and having regular game time has improved his in game management.  

“He has played a significant amount with Cornish Pirates over the past two seasons which is a sign of a player who was willing to take himself out of his comfort zone to go to a new club and get regular game time.  It shows he is driven.  

“Added to that he has a connection with the region and a point to prove in the Welsh professional game. He gives us a bit more depth at 10 and has slotted in well to training.” 

Content & Images from – Cardiff Rugby

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Spingbok loosehead joins DHL Stormers ranks



Loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka has joined the DHL Stormers squad ahead of the 2023/24 season.

The 33-year-old Springbok front row forward has made the move to Cape Town and brings considerable experience with him.

Gqoboka only took up the game at the age of 19 and within two years had already secured his first professional contract. He has accumulated over 150 senior caps since then and made his Springbok debut in 2019.

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that Gqoboka’s proven track record means he will be ready to hit the ground running when the season gets underway.

“Lizo is an experienced player who would be a valuable asset for any squad in what is an important position.

“He has already settled in well here in the pre-season and we are all looking forward to seeing what he can do when the season gets underway,” he said.

Gqoboka said that having played against the DHL Stormers many times in his career, he is excited about feeling the support of the Faithful.

“This is a great team with some incredible supporters and I can’t wait to run out in the blue and white jersey and give my all.

“My family and I have felt at home right away here, my teammates and the coaches have been so welcoming and I want to repay that when I get the chance to take the field as a DHL Stormer,” he said.

Content & Images from – Stormers Rugby

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