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‘World class’ Boffelli extends capital stay

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Boffelli, 27 – labelled world class by Head Coach Mike Blair – has been one of rugby’s standout stars in 2022, with a series of impressive displays for both club and country.

One of world rugby’s most accurate goalkickers, Boffelli finished the year as rugby’s top points-scorer at international level and was the only player to score 100+ points in Tier 1 Test rugby [146], 51 more than second place Richie Mo’unga [95].

Boffelli shot to notoriety in the summer by kicking 20 points in Argentina’s historic 18-25 win against the All Blacks in Christchurch, while the playmaker notched up an even more impressive 25 points in Los Pumas 29-30 win against England at Twickenham earlier this year, crossing the whitewash to cap off an inspired performance.

Following the win in London, Argentina Head Coach Michael Cheika praised Boffelli’s development in the Scottish capital and stated that the back-three star is ‘loving living in Scotland and playing his footy in Edinburgh.’

Boffelli was this month rewarded for his fine form at international level by being awarded the Silver Olimpia Award in Argentina, voted by for sports journalists and given to the country’s top rugby performer.

On penning a new deal with Edinburgh, Boffelli said: “I am very happy to continue with Edinburgh – it is a club that has helped me smile again and enjoy what I love to do the most, which is playing rugby.

“From the first day I arrived, my teammates, coaches, fans and all the people that work at the club made me feel right at home.

“I am really fascinated by the city. Although it is much colder than Rosario, my home Argentine city, I feel that I am getting used to it and finding its charm. Little by little, with my girlfriend, we feel that we are establishing ourselves and enjoying this beautiful city.”

Boffelli made his Edinburgh Rugby debut against Dragons in November 2021, scoring after just two minutes at Rodney Parade to get his capital career off to a flyer.

The Argentine star finished his inaugural season at Edinburgh Rugby with 172 points in 18 appearances and was named Players’ Player of the Season at the club’s Annual End of Season Awards.

Boffelli continued: “I am really enjoying being part of this team. We have very good players and coaches but, above all, very good people. It’s a privilege to play forEdinburgh. I think that I have quickly established myself here and become part of the group.

“Ultimately, I’ve chosen to stay because, despite having other interesting options, I feel that this is the club where I want to be and where they’ll help me improve every day to become a better player, and more importantly, a better person.”

Head Coach Mike Blair said “We’re absolutely delighted to retain the services of Emiliano. He’s a world class player who is clearly loving his rugby right now.

“Boff has been incredible on the pitch since joining us last season while he’s also a hugely popular member of the squad who commands respect throughout the changing room because of his commitment to the jersey.

“Boff loves being part of this club and squad and that’s clearly been a huge factor in his decision to re-sign. He would have had his fair share of suitors given his form so it’s a real vote of confidence that he’s committed his future to the team.”

Douglas Struth, Edinburgh Rugby Managing Director added: “This is a really significant re-signing for the club and a huge amount of work has gone in across the board to structure this deal.

“Emiliano would have undoubtedly had a number of high-profile options elsewhere but the fact that a truly world class and ambitious player is so happy to stay with Edinburgh Rugby long-term is testament to the positive direction that the club continues to move in.

“I’m sure, like all of us at the club, our supporters will be delighted with this news as we head into tomorrow night’s decisive 1872 Cup derby.”

Content & Images from – Edinburgh Rugby


Champions Cup

Academy Trio Stepping Up & Contract News

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Munster Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to announce that Academy trio Tony Butler, Ethan Coughlan and Mark Donnelly will be promoted to the senior squad in the summer.

We can also confirm that hooker Scott Buckley, who graduated from the Academy to the senior squad in 2022, has signed a contract extension.

Out-half Butler, scrum-half Coughlan (both 21) and 22-year-old prop Donnelly have all signed on for the next two seasons after impressing over their three years in the Academy.

Butler and Coughlan become the first Ennis RFC players to earn senior Munster contracts.

As previously confirmed, Academy lock Edwin Edogbo (21), who also came up through the Munster Youths system with Cobh Pirates, will graduate from the Academy to the senior squad on a two-year deal next season.

Buckley, Butler, Coughlan and Donnelly all made their Munster debuts in the famous Champions Cup win over Wasps in December 2021.

Tony Butler in action against Dragons.

Tony Butler in action against Dragons.

Ennis out-half Tony Butler has earned his first senior contract after a very productive three years in the Academy.

He has made six senior appearances to date, including two starts so far this season against Dragons and Connacht.

A Grand Slam winner with the Ireland U20s in 2022, Butler now plays his AIL rugby with Young Munster having previously lined out for Garryowen.

He captained Ennis at underage level, teaming up with Coughlan in the half-backs as they enjoyed success in the Munster U16 and U18 Clubs competitions.

Scrum-half Ethan Coughlan is enjoying an excellent campaign with three starts so far this year and eight senior appearances in total since joining the Academy.

He enjoyed great success alongside Butler with Ennis RFC at underage level before captaining the Ireland U18 Clubs team.

He also won a Grand Slam with the Ireland U20s in 2022 and plays his AIL rugby with Shannon.

Prop Mark Donnelly has already made nine senior appearances for Munster after coming up through the ranks at Midleton RFC, Midleton College and CBC.

He was a Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup winner with CBC in 2019 and featured for the Ireland U20s in the 2021 Six Nations.

He joined the Academy that summer before making his Munster debut along with Buckley, Butler and Coughlan against Wasps in December 2021

Along with his nine senior Munster appearances, Donnelly has also played regularly for Garryowen in the AIL over the past three years.

Mark Donnelly at Munster training.

Mark Donnelly at Munster training.

Hooker Scott Buckley (23) has signed a one-year contract having made 25 appearances for Munster to date.

A product of the Munster Rugby Academy, Buckley started out with Kinsale RFC before captaining CBC to the Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup in 2019.

He was Player of the Match against Wasps on his Munster debut and made nine appearances last season as Munster won the URC title.

A UCC clubman, he scored the match-winning try against Crusaders at Páirc Ui Chaoimh earlier this month.

Scott Buckley scores a try against Leinster in pre-season.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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URC

Squad Update Ahead Of Zebre At Virgin Media Park

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The Munster squad are preparing at the HPC ahead of Friday night’s URC Round 11 clash against Zebre at Virgin Media Park (7.35pm).

There are a limited number of tickets available here.

25 players lined out in the thrilling encounter against Harlequins on Friday night, including eight Academy players and two young club players. Scroll down for match highlights.

The squad is boosted by the return of Tom Ahern, Craig Casey and Jeremy Loughman from international duty ahead of Friday night’s clash in Cork.

On the injury front, Academy back-row forward Ruadhán Quinn has completed the return to play protocols and is available for selection.

Following the game against Harlequins on Friday night, Academy duo Shay McCarthy (ankle) and Daniel Okeke (elbow) will go for scans and are unavailable this week.

Continuing to rehab: Simon Zebo (knee), Patrick Campbell (shoulder), John Hodnett (finger), Paddy Patterson (knee), Jack O’Donoghue (knee), Dave Kilcoyne (shoulder), Diarmuid Barron (foot), Jean Kleyn (eye/knee), Liam Coombes (shoulder), Roman Salanoa (knee).

Video | Harlequins v Munster Highlights

Tickets

URC Round 11: Friday, March 1

Munster v Zebre Parma, Virgin Media Park, 7.35pm; Buy final tickets here

U20s 6 Nations Round 5: Friday, March 15

Ireland v Scotland, Virgin Media Park, 7pm; Buy final tickets here

URC Round 13: Saturday, March 30

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

Women’s 6 Nations Round 3: Saturday, April 13

Ireland v Wales, Virgin Media Park, 4.45pm; 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

Dan McFarland departs Ulster Rugby

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Dan McFarland departs Ulster Rugby

3 minutes ago

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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.”

Images & Content – Ulster Rugby


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