Ulster v Benetton – Preview, Team News, Odds, Where To Watch

Ulster Rugby Kieran Treadwell

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Ulster and Benetton will put their winning starts to the season on the line on Friday, October 8, with the Ulstermen having picked up bonus-point victories in each of their opening two matches of the United Rugby Championship.

The Irish province have not been beaten by Italian opponents since losing to Zebre in September 2017 and their only previous defeat to Benetton came back in 2011.

Benetton have never won the opening three matches of the season but neither have they won a game outside Italy since March 2020.

Their last clash with an Irish province ended in a 20-12 home win against Connacht but the Rainbow Cup winners have never won successive matches against Irish opponents.

Ulster have no new injury concerns ahead of their second clash with Italian opposition in two weeks.

Stuart McCloskey (hamstring) and Jordi Murphy sustained recent injuries in training and are currently unfit for selection.

Jacob Stockdale (ankle) and Rob Lyttle (back) also sustained recent training ground injuries and will have their fitness for selection monitored through the coming week.

Cormac Izuchukwu and Luke Marshall remain out with knee injuries while winger Robert Baloucoune recovers from a groin injury.

Captain Iain Henderson is sidelined with a thumb injury while former Leinster prop Jack McGrath is working his way to full fitness after a hip injury.

Kieran Treadwell is still sidelined with the shoulder injury he picked up during pre-season and is currently working his way back into contention.

Team News

Ulster

(15-9) Will Addison, Craig Gilroy, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, Nathan Doak;

(1-8) Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter (Capt.), Matty Rea, Nick Timoney, David McCann.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Ross Kane, Mick Kearney, Sean Reidy, David Shanahan, Mike Lowry, Ben Moxham.

Benetton

(15-9) 15 Rhyno Smith *, 14 Ratuva Tavuyara (47), 13 Marco Zanon (42), 12 Tommaso Benvenuti (119), 11 Luca Sperandio (64), 10 Leonardo Marin (2), 9 Callum Braley (15).

(8-1) 8 Braam Steyn (88), 7 Michele Lamaro (c) (24), 6 Giovanni Pettinelli (48), 5 Federico Ruzza (73), 4 Irné Herbst (64), 3 Ivan Nemer (18), 2 Corniel Els (12), 1 Federico Zani (54).

Replacements: 16 Tomas Baravalle (54), 17 Cherif Traoré (72), 18 Tiziano Pasquali (85), 19 Marco Lazzaroni (113), 20 Sebastian Negri (50), 21 Lorenzo Cannone (2), 22 Luca Petrozzi (20), 23 Luca Morisi (85).

Odds

Ulster 1/8

Draw 25/1

Benetton 5/1

Where To Watch

The game will kick-off at 7:35 pm BST and will be available to watch live on Premier Sports, SuperSport and URC TV.

LiveScores Now Available at IrishScores.com

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