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White’s Vodacom Bulls prepared for Munster clash

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The Vodacom Bulls Director of Rugby, Jake White, has announced his match-day 23 that will face Munster Rugby in round 5 of the 2022 season of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship. The Marcel Coetzee led side will step onto the field on Saturday (15 October 2022) with six changes to the xv that started against Glasgow.

White has given Simphiwe Matanzima a start at loose-head prop, with Johan Goosen (fly-half) and Harold Vorster (inside centre) returning to the matchday squad. Last week, Goosen missed out as a precautionary measure to protect the player from 4G surface the side played on. Mornay Smith slots in at tight-head prop, whilst the second row remains the same with the only change at open-side flanker, where WJ Steenkamp will get his first run of this season’s European campaign. Embrose Papier (scrum-half) swaps jersey’s with Zak Burger, who will get his run from the bench.

The back three combination of Lionel Mapoe, Cornel Hendricks and Kurt-Lee Arendse will run out at Thomond Park, looking to add more tries to the team’s 14 of the 2022 campaign.

The matchup is set be an enthralling outing as both sides look to bounce back from round 4 defeats, motivation that is not lost to the Vodacom Bulls mentor. Speaking on the choice of the playing 23, White said the changes were routine.

“Nothing untoward (referring to the changes), we would have changed anyway and we will probably change for the game against the Sharks too before we go into the break. These changes help keep good morale and motivation for the entire squad,”

The Vodacom Bulls squad is one of the youngest in the competition and this is something that excites White.

“I am very proud that these guys are coming through the ranks. 5-10 years ago, we wouldn’t have this sort of team makeup, where young guys form part of the core of the team. It is fantastic to see these players graduate and come through the youth system, and in a couple of years we will have a strong Vodacom Bulls team,”

Speaking on the #BullsHeard opponents this weekend, the Vodacom Bulls mentor said: “Munster are a good team, playing at home (in Limerick), with their back against the wall, it is going to be a tough encounter. There is also massive amount of test match rugby experience for their players that play for Ireland and we anticipate they will go back to draw from that experience,”

“This weekend will be a good test for us, we are a young side – with players in their early 20’s – yet we have done well, far exceeding expectations in the season past and as (last season’s), finalists we must (also) consider that other teams will want to up their game against us, perhaps preparing for our games a bit more than they may have done previously” concluded White.

The Munster clash will kick-off at 20:35pm (CAT) and broadcasts LIVE on SuperSport Rugby.

VODACOM BULLS vs MUNSTER STARTING XV:

1. Simphiwe Matanzima, 2. Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 3. Mornay Smith, 4. Walt Steenkamp, 5. Ruan Nortje, 6. Marcell Coetzee (c), 7. WJ Steenkamp, 8. Elrigh Louw, 9. Embrose Papier, 10. Johan Goosen, 11. Wandisile Simelane, 12. Harold Vorster, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 15. Kurt-Lee Arendse

VODACOM BULLS IMPACT SQUAD:

16. Bismarck Du Plessis, 17. Dylan Smith, 18. Jacques van Rooyen, 19. Ruan Vermaak, 20. Marco Van Staden, 21. Zak Burger, 22. Chris Smith, 23. David Kriel

VODACOM BULLS TOURING SQUAD:

FORWARDS (17): Gerhard Steenekamp, Simphiwe Matanzima, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Bismarck Du Plessis, Francois Klopper, Mornay Smith, Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Vermaak, Ruan Nortje, Janko Swanepoel, Marcell Coetzee (c), WJ Steenkamp, Marco Van Staden, Reinhardt Ludwig, Elrigh Louw, Dylan Smith and Joe van Zyl

BACKS (13): Zak Burger, Embrose Papier, Johan Goosen, Chris Smith, Stedman Gans, Bernard Van der Linde, David Kriel, Harold Vorster, Lionel Mapoe, Morne Steyn, Cornal Hendricks, Wandisile Simelane and Kurt-Lee Arendse

MANAGEMENT: Jake White – Director of Rugby, Nollis Marais – Breakdown, Russell Winter – Forwards, Chris Rossouw – Backs, Elias Bennett – Team Managerr, John-William Meyer – Technical Analyst, Dr Herman Rossouw – Team Doctor, Lance Lemmetjies – Senior Physiotherapist

Vodacom Bulls tour itinerary:

8 October 2022 at 20:35

Sctoland, Scotstoun Stadium – Glasgow Warriors 35-21 Vodacom Bulls

15 October 2022 at 20:35

Ireland, Thomond Park – Munster vs Vodacom Bulls

22 October 2022 at 18:30

Italy, Stadio Monigo – Benetton vs Vodacom Bulls

Content & Images from – Vodacom Bulls Rugby


URC

Dan McFarland departs Ulster Rugby

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Dan McFarland departs Ulster Rugby

3 minutes ago

News

Ulster Rugby and the IRFU can confirm that Dan McFarland will step down from his position as Head Coach.

After joining the club in 2018, McFarland has been the longest-serving Head Coach for the province in the professional era, with the club reliably securing play-off rugby in URC and EPCR competitions during his time at the helm, including reaching the PRO14 final in 2020.

Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie, said:

“We would like to thank Dan for his determination in driving forward the professional squad over the past six seasons, and I would like to wish him and his family the best for the future on behalf of all at Ulster Rugby.”

The change to the Senior Men’s coaching set-up is with immediate effect, with Ireland U20s Head Coach, Richie Murphy, to link-up with the province as interim Head Coach until the end of this season following the Under-20s Six Nations. Bryn Cunningham, Head of Rugby Operations and Recruitment at Ulster Rugby, will also assume greater management responsibilities within the performance function during this time.

Assistant Coach, Dan Soper, will oversee operations next week ahead of Ulster facing Dragons at Kingspan Stadium in Round 11 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.

Petrie continued: “With Richie coming to Ulster in the coming weeks, ahead of the squad travelling to South Africa, our focus will be on consistently performing to the best of our abilities at this crucial time of the year.”

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Edinburgh snap up Tigers lock

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Lock Carmichael joins from Tigers

Edinburgh Rugby today secured the signing of promising 20-year-old Leicester Tigers lock Rob Carmichael on a three-year deal.

The 6ft 11in second-row arrived in the capital today on an initial loan until the end of the season, before the long-term move becomes permanent this summer.

Carmichael was born and raised in Hong Kong after his Scottish father, and English/Welsh mother, emigrated to Asia just under 30 years ago. He came through the ranks at Sandy Bay RFC before the family returned to the UK in 2019.

That year he joined the Tigers academy, making two Premiership Cup appearances alongside representing England U20, remaining eligible for Scotland by ancestry.

On joining Edinburgh Rugby, Carmichael said: “This is a massive move for me and an incredible opportunity I’ve been given. I’m delighted to join and I’m really glad I’ve been able to make the move to Edinburgh early on loan. I’ve only heard great things about the club.

“I’ve wanted to live in Scotland my whole life so I’m glad I’m able to make the move now. Edinburgh is an incredible city, while my parents and whole extended family are really excited that I’ve joined a Scottish club.”

Combining education with an academy contract at Tigers, Carmichael played BUCS Super Rugby at University of Nottingham where he studied Sports Science.

The towering lock was named in the England U20 squad for the 2023 U20 Six Nations where he featured in all five fixtures for the Red Roses.

Carmichael continued: “I’ve got a lot to learn about Edinburgh. I’ve only visited a couple of times but everything I’ve heard about the city and the club has been really positive. I couldn’t be more excited to move up.

“I think it’s going to be great for my development and I can’t wait to learn off the experienced second-rows at the club. I just want to add as much as I can to the team and see how much I can improve as a player. I know I’ve got loads to learn.”

Carmichael linked up with the club’s senior squad today as preparations continue for Edinburgh Rugby’s next BKT United Rugby Championship match against Ospreys at Hive Stadium on Friday 1 March.

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “We’re delighted to welcome Rob [Carmichael] to the club. He’s a player with great raw ability who has all the physical tools to succeed at the next level.

“We’ve been looking at Rob for a while given his Scotland links and we’re thankful to Tigers who’ve released him on an initial loan. He’ll be able to get his feet in the door and hit the ground running ahead of joining on a long-term deal this summer.”

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Ulster ready for Ospreys challenge in Wales

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Ulster ready for Ospreys challenge in Wales

4 minutes ago

Fixture News

Head Coach, Dan McFarland, has named his Ulster side to take on the Ospreys at Swansea.com Stadium in Round 10 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.

The province returns to action in the URC for the first time since defeating league leaders, Leinster Rugby, at the RDS Arena on New Year’s Day.

Ireland internationals Iain Henderson, Jacob Stockdale, Tom Stewart and Nick Timoney are back with the team, following their release from the Ireland team’s Guinness Six Nations camp.

The experienced front row sees Andrew Warwick start at loosehead, with John Andrew at hooker and Marty Moore starting at tighthead prop.

In the second row, Academy products, Harry Sheridan and skipper Iain Henderson, pair up as Ulster’s locks.

The back row sees David McCann start at blindside flanker. Marcus Rea starts at openside flanker, with Ireland international, Nick Timoney, starting at eight, as Ulster aim to win the battle at the breakdown in Swansea.

McFarland opts for the talented half-back pairing of Nathan Doak at scrum-half and Jake Flannery at ten.

Jacob Stockdale returns from international camp to start on the left wing as he hopes to continue his try-scoring form, with the winger having dotted down six tries this season in the URC so far.

The young and dynamic centre partnership sees Jude Postlethwaite join James Hume in the engine room of the backfield.

Mike Lowry starts on the right wing, with Will Addison completing the backfield at full-back.

Ulster can call on a wealth of talent and experience from the bench, with a 5:3 split that features a two time Rugby World Cup winner and a current Ireland international.

Tom Stewart is named on the bench as he returns from Ireland duty for the match.

Springbok prop, Steven Kitshoff, is named alongside Scott Wilson, Cormac Izuchukwu, Matty Rea, Dave Shanahan, Luke Marshall and Ethan McIlroy to complete Ulster’s replacement options.

Ospreys v Ulster, Round 10 of the BKT United Rugby Championship, Sunday 18 February, 3pm, Swansea.com Stadium (live on ViaPlay and URC.tv).

With the URC celebrating the people and communities behind the professional players competing in the league through its Origin Round this week, Ulster Rugby recognises the important role of clubs and schools in player development, with 11 of this weekend’s starting 15 having come through the Ulster pathway.

(15-9) Will Addison (Upper Eden RFC), Mike Lowry (Dromore RFC), James Hume (Instonians RFC), Jude Postlethwaite (Lisburn RFC), Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch RFC), Jake Flannery (Kilfeacle RFC), Nathan Doak (Lisburn RFC);

(1-8) Andrew Warwick (Ballymena RFC), John Andrew (Ballymena RFC), Marty Moore (Barnhall RFC), Harry Sheridan (Civil Service RFC), Iain Henderson (C) (Belfast Academy RFC), David McCann (Cooke RFC), Marcus Rea (Ballymena RFC), Nick Timoney (Blackrock RFC).

Replacements: Tom Stewart (Belfast Academy RFC), Steven Kitshoff (Maties RFC), Scott Wilson (Dromore RFC), Cormac Izuchukwu (Tullamore RFC), Matty Rea (Ballymena RFC), Dave Shanahan (Clontarf RFC), Luke Marshall (Ballymena RFC), Ethan McIlroy (Ballynahinch RFC).

For more info on #GrassrootsToGreatness, visit the URC website.

*For the URC Origin Round, details of each player’s first club are listed above.

Images & Content – Ulster Rugby


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