We have the starting teams and the opposition for Connacht, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster on round 11 of the URC.
FRIDAY, 28 JANUARY
- Rob Lyttle is set to make his 50th appearance for Ulster as he is named in the starting XV.
- Scarlets make seven changes with Daf Hughes to captain side for first time.
Ulster Rugby v Scarlets
Kingspan Stadium, Belfast – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA / 21.35 SA
Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARU, 6th competition game)
AR 1: Peter Marin (IRFU) AR 2: Andrew Cole (IRFU)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)
Ulster Rugby: Ethan McIlroy, Craig Gilroy, Ben Moxham, Angus Curtis, Rob Lyttle, Billy Burns, Nathan Doak, Eric O’Sullivan, John Andrew, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor (CAPT.), Sam Carter, Greg Jones, Marcus Rea, Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Brad Roberts, Jack McGrath, Gareth Milasinovich, Mick Kearney, David McCann, David Shanahan, Ian Madigan, Aaron Sexton.
Scarlets: Ioan Nicholas, Tom Rogers, Tyler Morgan, Steff Hughes, Ryan Conbeer, Dan Jones, Dane Blacker, Steff Thomas, Daf Hughes (CAPT), Samson Lee, Sam Lousi, Morgan Jones, Sione Kalamafoni, Shaun Evans, Carwyn Tuipulotu
Replacements: Marc Jones, Kemsley Mathias, Javan Sebastian, Josh Helps, Aaron Shingler, Kieran Hardy, Sam Costelow, Steff Evans
Scarlets Head Coach Dwayne Peel said: “It is going to be a big challenge for us, Ulster have been going really well, but it is one we are looking forward to. It is an exciting prospect for me personally, I had four great years in Ulster.”
- Tiernan O’Halloran is set to become the fourth player to reach 200 caps for Connacht.
- Glasgow Warriors name 12 internationals in their starting XV.
Connacht Rugby v Glasgow Warriors
The Sportsground, Galway – KO 14.55 IRE & UK / 15.55 ITA / 16.55 SA
Referee: Nic Berry (ARU, competition debut)
AR 1: Stuart Gaffikin (IRFU) AR 2: Stuart Douglas (IRFU)
TMO: Brett Cronan (ARU)
Live on: RTÉ 2, Premier Sports, SuperSport & URC TV
Connacht Rugby: Tiernan O’Halloran, Alex Wootton, Tom Farrell, Sammy Arnold, Diarmuid Kilgallen, Cathal Forde, Kieran Marmion, Jordan Duggan, Dave Heffernan, Greg McGrath, Ultan Dillane, Leva Fifita, Eoghan Masterson, Jarrad Butler (CAPT), Paul Boyle
Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Denis Buckley, Tietie Tuimauga, Oisin Dowling, Sean Masterson, Colm Reilly, Shayne Bolton, Oran McNulty
Glasgow Warriors: Ollie Smith, Sebastian Cancelliere, Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu, Rufus McLean, Duncan Weir, George Horne; Oli Kebble, Fraser Brown (C), Enrique Pieretto, Kiran McDonald, Richie Gray, Ryan Wilson (CC), Thomas Gordon, Jack Dempsey.
Replacements: Johnny Matthews, Jamie Bhatti, Simon Berghan, Lewis Bean, Ally Miller, Jamie Dobie, Ross Thompson, Stafford McDowall
Connacht Rugby Head Coach Andy Friend said: “Tiernan’s 200th cap is a huge achievement for him. To play 200 times for one club is a testament to his loyalty to Connacht, his dedication to the game, and his ability as a footballer. The fact that he’s reached the milestone for his home province, having come through the ranks at Connemara RFC and Garbally College, only adds to the achievement. Tomorrow’s game is a really important one in the context of the URC standings. We don’t have many home games left so it’s crucial we pick up as many points as possible in these fixtures. The results of the last two weeks were disappointing so it’s up to all of us to ensure we do enough for 80 minutes to get the win.”
Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Danny Wilson said: “We’re looking forward to resuming our league campaign tomorrow afternoon We know the conditions we could face at The Sportsground and how Connacht like to play, and we’re ready for the challenge they present. Connacht are a side who have played well recently and are very consistent at home. We welcome back a couple of guys coming back to us at the end of the week from Scotland camp. The boys have trained well and we look forward to the challenge.”
- David Sisi will captain the Zebre side having returned from the Italy’s Six Nations squad alongside Pierre Bruno, Giosuè Zilocchi and Alessandro Fusco.
- Jean Kleyn will make his 100th Munster appearance.
Zebre Parma v Munster Rugby
Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma – KO 17.00 IRE & UK / 18.00 ITA / 19.00 SA
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU, 26th competition game)
AR 1: Federico Vedovelli (FIR) AR 2: Maria Beatrice Benvenuti (FIR)
TMO: Alan Falzone (FIR)
Live on: Mediaset, RTÉ 2, Premier Sports, SuperSport & URC TV
Zebre Parma: Junior Laloifi, Pierre Bruno, Erich Cronjé, Enrico Lucchin, Jacopo Trulla, Timothy O’Malley, Marcello Violi, Paolo Buonfiglio, Oliviero Fabiani, Eduardo Bello, David Sisi (CAPT) Andrea Zambonin, Liam Mitchell, Iacopo Bianchi, Renato Giammarioli
Replacements: Massimo Ceciliani, Andrea Lovotti, Giosuè Zilocchi, Leonard Krumov, Potu Junior Leavasa, Alessandro Fusco, Antonio Rizzi, Giulio Bisegni
Munster Rugby: Matt Gallagher; Calvin Nash, Liam Coombes, Dan Goggin, Shane Daly; Jake Flannery, Neil Cronin; Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Keynan Knox; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (CAPT), John Hodnett, Jack O’Sullivan
Replacements: Scott Buckley, Josh Wycherley, Roman Salanoa, Thomas Ahern, Alex Kendellen, Paddy Patterson, Jack Crowley, Chris Farrell.
- James Botham returns from injury at number 8 for Cardiff.
- Joe McCarthy will make his Leinster debut.
Cardiff Rugby v Leinster Rugby
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA / 21.35 SA
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU, 59th competition game)
AR 1: Adam Jones (WRU) AR 2: Aled Evans (WRU)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)
Live on: S4C, TG4, Premier Sports, SuperSport & URC TV
Cardiff Rugby: Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Ben Thomas, Aled Summerhill; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Corey Domachowski, Kirby Myhill, Dmitri Arhip, Josh Turnbull (CAPT), Rory Thornton, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Will Boyde, James Botham
Replacements: Efan Daniel, Rhys Carré, Dillon Lewis, Teddy Williams, Sam Moore, Jamie Hill, Max Llewellyn, Garyn Smith
Leinster Rugby: Jimmy O’Brien, Adam Byrne, Jamie Osbourne, Ciarán Frawley, Rory O’Loughlin, Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath (CAPT), Ed Byrne, Sean Cronin, Michael Ala’alatoa, Devin Toner, Joe McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Will Connors, Scott Penny
Replacements: James Tracy, Peter Dooley, Vakh Abdaladze, Ross Molony, Max Deegan, Nick McCarthy, Harry Byrne, Tommy O’Brien
Cardiff Rugby Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “The one thing that does focus the mind is playing against Leinster. It will be a real big challenge for us and something we’ve spoken about as a squad. We’re looking at our win percentages with internationals, which is a lot better than when they’re not available. There’s a big onus over the next month to get the results because we’re only as strong as every performance. That’s true whether we’ve got internationals or not. It’s important to have the crowd back. That gives everyone the buzz and the excitement. When we have had crowds here this season they’ve been excellent and played a big part. Hopefully they’ll come out in their numbers and are nice and loud like they have been this season. We’ve got a part to play in that, doing the job on the field and giving them something to cheer about. That’s why we play rugby.”