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Pro14 2020/21 – Week Two – Connacht, Ulster, Munster, Leinster name teams for this weekend’s matches.
The Leinster Rugby team, as sponsored by Bank of Ireland, has been named by Head Coach Leo Cullen ahead of Round 2 of the Guinness PRO14 tomorrow against Benetton Rugby in Stadio Monigo (Kick Off: 5.15pm – live on Eir Sport).
Garry Ringrose will captain the squad as Leinster Rugby play their first game away from Dublin since February’s trip to the Gnoll.
It’s the same back three that started against Dragons last weekend with Hugo Keenan again selected at full back, Jordan Larmour on the right wing and James Lowe on the left.
In the centre Robbie Henshaw makes his first appearance of the new campaign in the number 12 shirt with captain Ringrose outside him.
Jamison Gibson-Park again starts at scrumhalf with Ross Byrne his half back partner this week.
In the pack Ed Byrne, James Tracy and Michael Bent will line up in the front row with Ryan Baird and James Ryan behind them to complete the tight five.
Caelan Doris, Will Connors and Jack Conan are the back row selected by Cullen for the trip to Treviso.
Please note that Rónan Kelleher was ruled out of contention for the game as a precaution having withdrawn from training with a minor quad injury.
He is still due to link up with the Irish Rugby squad next week where his fitness will be further assessed.
Leinster Rugby (Leinster caps in brackets):
15. Hugo Keenan (19)
14. Jordan Larmour (51)
13. Garry Ringrose (77) CAPTAIN
12. Robbie Henshaw (48)
11. James Lowe (48)
10. Ross Byrne (90)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (94)
1. Ed Byrne (58)
2. James Tracy (110)
3. Michael Bent (141)
4. Ryan Baird (11)
5. James Ryan (40)
6. Caelan Doris (33)
7. Will Connors (20)
8. Jack Conan (94)
16. Seán Cronin (186)
17. Cian Healy (221)
18. Tom Clarkson (1)
19. Ross Molony (96)
20. Rhys Ruddock (174)
21. Luke McGrath (128)
22. Harry Byrne (10)
23. Jimmy O’Brien (18)
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)
Marcus Rea will make his first start for Ulster on Saturday evening, in the Guinness PRO14 Round 2 trip to play Ospreys at Liberty Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm).
The 23-year-old – who was Player of the Match in his sole previous Ulster appearance as a replacement against Leinster in April 2019 – has been named at openside flanker. Marcus’s older brother Matty – Player of the Match in last weekend’s bonus point win over Benetton – is named alongside him at blindside, with Marcell Coetzee once again packing down at number eight.
Jack McGrath, Rob Herring and Marty Moore have been given the front row starting berths, and Alan O’Connor has been selected along with captain Iain Henderson in the second row.
Matt Faddes returns to the starting side on the right wing and will join Jacob Stockdale at full-back and Rob Lyttle on the left wing. Last week’s midfield duo of Stewart Moore and James Hume has been retained. Ian Madigan comes in to start at fly-half, pairing with John Cooney at scrum-half.
The coaching team has opted for a 6-2 bench split. Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones and Sean Reidy provide the forward options, with David Shanahan and Louis Ludik offering back line cover.
Ulster team to play Ospreys Rugby, Guinness PRO14 Round 2, Saturday 10 October 2020, at Liberty Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm, live on Premier Sports):
(15-9) Jacob Stockdale, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle, Ian Madigan, John Cooney.
(1-8) Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.) , Matthew Rea, Marcus Rea, Marcell Coetzee.
Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Louis Ludik, Sean Reidy.
The Munster side has been named for Saturday’s Round 2 Guinness PRO14 game against Edinburgh at Thomond Park (7.35pm — live on eir Sport and Premier Sports).
There are seven changes to the side that defeated Scarlets in the thrilling opening round encounter in Wales.
Last week’s match-winner, Academy out-half Ben Healy, starts at 10 this weekend as he joins Craig Casey in the half backs.
There is a new midfield pairing with Alex McHenry, making his first Guinness PRO14 start, named alongside Rory Scannell.
In the back three Matt Gallagher makes his Munster debut on the left-wing joining Andrew Conway and Mike Haley.
Jeremy Loughman comes into the front row to pack down with Rhys Marshall and John Ryan while Fineen Wycherley joins Tadhg Beirne in the engine room.
The backrow change sees Tommy O’Donnell included with Jack O’Donoghue making the move to blindside, and CJ Stander captains the side from number 8.
In the replacements Roman Salanoa and academy out-half Jack Crowley are in line to make their Munster debuts, while Conor Murray and Dan Goggin return from respective thigh and ankle injuries to be included.
Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Alex McHenry, Rory Scannell, Matt Gallagher; Ben Healy, Craig Casey; Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Fineen Wycherley, Tadhg Beirne; Jack O’Donoghue, Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander (C).
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Roman Salanoa, Gavin Coombes, John Hodnett, Conor Murray, Jack Crowley, Dan Goggin.
Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend has made two changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 clash against Cardiff Blues at Rodney Parade (k/o 7.35pm).
Eoghan Masterson comes in for his 93rd Connacht appearance, starting at blindside flanker. Captain Jarrad Butler moves to number 8 as a result while Conor Oliver retains his place on the opposite flank.
The other changes comes in the backs where Sammy Arnold partners Bundee Aki at centre.
The remainder of the team is the same that impressively saw off Glasgow Warriors last week, with hooker Dave Heffernan joined by props Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham in the front row, while Gavin Thornbury and Quinn Roux continue their second row partnership.
Kieran Marmion and Jack Carty are retained at 9 and 10 respectively, while the squad is completed by the same back three of wingers Alex Wootton and Peter Sullivan alongside full-back John Porch.
Commenting on his team selection, Andy Friend says:
“We were very pleased to pick up the win last week and the way the squad took control of the game in the second half. That said, we are targeting two wins from these first two games so the job is only half done.
Rodney Parade is a tough place to go but I have full confidence in the squad we have selected to go over and get the win. Unfortunately we will be without Niall Murray for a lengthy period, but we are able to welcome back Ultan Dillane while Shane Delahunt has served his suspension so we are in a good place overall.”
CONNACHT RUGBY SQUAD VS CARDIFF BLUES
Saturday 10th October, Rodney Parade (k/o 7.35pm)
15. John Porch (19)
14. Peter Sullivan (2)
13. Sammy Arnold (2)
12. Bundee Aki (102)
11. Alex Wootton (2)
10. Jack Carty (141)
9. Kieran Marmion (168)
1. Denis Buckley (180)
2. Dave Heffernan (131)
3. Finlay Bealham (143)
4. Gavin Thornbury (40)
5. Quinn Roux (102)
6. Eoghan Masterson (92)
7. Conor Oliver (3)
8. Jarrad Butler (57) (C)
16. Shane Delahunt (78)
17. Jordan Duggan (2)
18. Jack Aungier (2)
19. Ultan Dillane (97)
20. Paul Boyle (41)
21. Stephen Kerins (9)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (24)
23. Tom Daly (26)