The teams and TV details for Saturday’s Round 11 fixtures of the United Rugby Championship have been named with all details of match officials.
TEAM NEWS HEADLINES
- Springbok lock Willem Alberts is set to start in the second row for the Emirates Lions.
- Canan Moodie will make his URC debut for the Vodacom Bulls.
- 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.
- Springboks Siya Kolisi and Bongi Mbonambi have been named in Cell C Sharks starting XV.
- DHL Stormers make three changes to starting XV. Winger Angelo Davids will make his URC debut.
- 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.
- Harri Deaves will make his first start in the URC for Ospreys and Huw Sutton’s first game in the URC off the bench.
- Edinburgh welcome a number of international players back into the starting XV including Jaco van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos, Dave Cherry, Marshall Sykes and Magnus Bradbury.
- James Botham returns from injury at number 8 for Cardiff.
- Joe McCarthy will make his Leinster debut.
SATURDAY, 29 JANUARY
Emirates Lions v Vodacom Bulls
Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg – KO 13.00 IRE & UK / 14.00 ITA / 15.00 SA
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (SARU, 4th competition game)
AR 1: Aimee Barrett-Theron (SARU) AR 2: Griffin Colby (SARU)
TMO: AJ Jacobs (SARU)
Emirates Lions: EW Viljoen, Edwill van der Merwe, Wandisile Simelane, Megiel Burger Odendaal (CAPT), Sibahle Maxwane , Fred Zeilinga, Andre Warner, Sti Sithole, Pieter Jacobus Botha, Carlu Sadie, Ruben Schoeman, Willem Alberts, Jaco Kriel , Emmanuel Tshituka, Francke Horne.
Replacements: Morne Brandon, Morgan Naude, Ruan Dreyer, Ruan Venter, Ruhan Straeuli, Sibusiso Sangweni, Morne van den Berg, Tiaan Swanepoel
Vodacom Bulls: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Morné Steyn, Embrose Papier; Simphiwe Matanzima, Johan Grobbelaar, Jacques van Rooyen, Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Arno Botha, Elrigh Louw.
Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Lizo Gqoboka, Robert Hunt, Janko Swanepoel, Muller Uys, Zak Burger, Chris Smith, David Kriel.
Emirates Lions Head Coach Ivan van Rooyen said: “I feel for Pieter (Jansen van Vuren). He worked so hard to come back from his knee injury he suffered on tour. We wish him a speedy recovery from this latest setback. The opportunity now awaits Ruan (Venter), who’s had a fantastic past few months, including a SA Rugby U20 Cup winner’s medal. He could possibly get his chance on Saturday. Providing opportunities to young players is a common theme for us here at the franchise and it’s something we pride ourselves in. In the same breath, the entire squad buys into what we are trying to achieve in the VURC , so everyone plays a key part towards that goal.”
Vodacom Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White said: “The Emirates Lions showed a good fight in their match against the Cell C Sharks last weekend. We have no doubts that they will want to build from that and go one better in search of a win in their own back yard this weekend. It is always a tough, physical battle against the Emirates Lions. They are a well-coached side that will throw everything at us. We are looking forward to another exciting Vodacom URC encounter.”
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.”
Referee: Marius van der Westhuisen (SARU, 8th competition game)
AR 1: Cwengile Jadezweni (SARU) AR 2: Morne Ferreira (SARU)
TMO: Marius Jonker (SARU)
Cell C Sharks: Aphelele Fassi, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am (CAPT), Ben Tapuai, Makazole Mapimpi, Boeta Chamberlain, Grant Williams, Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit, Ruben van Heerden, Hyron Andrews, Siya Kolisi, Jeandre Labuschagne, Phepsi Buthelezi
Replacements: Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Khutha Mchunu, Reniel Hugo, Henco Venter, Jaden Hendrikse, Tito Bonilla, Jeremy Ward
DHL Stormers: Damian Willemse, Angelo Davids, Ruhan Nel, Rikus Pretorius, Seabelo Senatla, Manie Libbok, Herschel Jantjies, Steven Kitshoff (CAPT), Scarra Ntubeni, Sazi Sandi, Adre Smith, Marvin Orie, Deon Fourie, Ernst van Rhyn, Hacjivah Dayimani.
Replacements: Andre-Hugo Venter, Leon Lyons, Brok Harris, Nama Xaba, Marcel Theunissen, Paul de Wet, Dan du Plessis, Warrick Gelant
Cell C Sharks Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “The positives from last week were the opportunities we created, and I was happy with the quick attack and the way we were able to move the ball and the continuity we got from that; the offloads in the build-up to some of the tries was also really pleasing, and we also managed the game well at times and that was why we came out on top.”
DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said: “While it was disappointing to lose Salmaan and Evan this week, we are looking forward to seeing what all of the players coming in this week can add. Evan picked up a minor knock on his rib, so we are managing him conservatively, while also keen to see what Hacjivah can do at the back of the scrum. Angelo, Nama and Marcel have all performed well for DHL Western Province and will be looking to grab this opportunity”
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)
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.
Swansea.com Stadium, Swansea – KO 17.15 IRE & UK / 18.15 ITA / 19.15 SA
Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR, 19th competition game)
AR 1: Gwyn Morris (WRU) AR 2: Mike English (WRU)
TMO: Ian Davies (WRU)
Ospreys: Mat Protheroe, Keelan Giles, Michael Collins, Keiran Williams, Luke Morgan, Stephen Myler, Rhys Webb (CAPT), Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Tom Botha, Rhys Davies, Lloyd Ashley, Will Griffiths, Harri Deaves, Ethan Roots
Replacements: Elvis Taione, Rhodri Jones, Rhys Henry, Huw Sutton, Morgan Morris, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Tiaan Thomas Wheeler.
Edinburgh Rugby: Henry Immelman, Darcy Graham, Matt Currie, Cammy Hutchison, Emiliano Boffelli, Jaco van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos (CAPT), Boan Venter, Dave Cherry, Angus Williams, Marshall Sykes, Glen Young, Magnus Bradbury, Connor Boyle, Mesulame Kunavula
Replacements: Adam McBurney, Harrison Courtney, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Jamie Hodgson, Ben Muncaster, Ben Vellacott, Charlie Savala, Mark Bennett
Ospreys Head Coach Toby Booth said: “We are looking forward to challenging ourselves against the very best, as we always do, and the exciting thing is that we are back home and we have people coming in to watch the game. Having the fans back is massive, everybody likes watching live sport and players love performing in front of live audiences. In those difficult moments, a home crowd can make the difference. We need as much support as we can get to support our young players and to drive us over the line.”
Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Mike Blair said: “It’s great to head into this game off the back of a really encouraging win against Brive, where we did a lot of positive things in both attack and defence, however as a group we know that Ospreys will be a far tougher challenge, especially away from home. The Ospreys squad is filled with both experienced internationalists and exciting up-and-coming talent, while they’ll be looking for a reaction following a couple of tough losses in Europe. There is lot of competition for places in the squad where guys are constantly putting their hand up in training, so we’re excited to make a few changes to the line-up. A number of players have been given their opportunity in what is another massive league fixture for us.”
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)
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.”
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