The teams for Saturday and Sunday's Round 2 fixtures of the United Rugby Championship have been named with all details of match officials and broadcast information below.
TEAM NEWS HEADLINES
- Just two changes in Benetton line up from last weekends clash - Giovanni Pettinelli and Tommaso Benvenuti brought into the match day squad.
- Six changes for Edinburgh's side this week. Summer signing and Scotland international James Lang makes first start. Jaco van der Walt replaced injured Blair Kinghorn.
- First competitive appearances in front of home crowd for Forbes, McLean, Thompson (debuted in 2020/21), Tuipulotu, McCallum and Dempsey (summer signings). Potential club debuts for academy tight-head Murphy Walker and summer signing Ally Miller from bench.
- Three changes to Cell C Sharks starting line-up. Ruben van Heerden returning to the match day XV.
- Asaeli Tuivuaka will make his debut on the wing. Head coach Michael Bradley will reach his 100th official match with Zebre.
- Second row, Alan O’Connor will captain the side.19 year-old scrum-half, Nathan Doak will make his first competitive start for the province. Rob Herring will be one appearance away from 200 once he takes the field at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.
- Max Nagy will make his first start for the Ospreys this weekend
- British and Irish Lions star Josh Adams makes a return to Cardiff Rugby.
- Simon Zebo set to make his 100th appearance in the league for Munster from the bench.
- Prop Brok Harris earns his 94th cap for the Stormers in his first appearance for he team since 2014, with over 100 caps for the Dragons in between. Adre Smith and Stefan Ungerer earn there first start.
- Elliot Dee to start at hooker for first Dragons appearance of the season
- James Ryan will captain Leinster for the first time. Josh van der Flier starts to earn his 100th cap. Rob Russell will make his debut. Conor O'Brien and Dan Leavy return from long-term injury.
Saturday, 2nd October
Benetton v Edinburgh Rugby
Stadio Comunable Di Monigo, Treviso – KO 13.00 IRE & UK / 14.00 ITA & SA
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU, 24th league game)
AR 1: Manuel Bottino (FIR), AR 2: Filippo Russo (FIR),
TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)
Live on: Mediaset, URC.TV & Premier Sports 1
Benetton: Andries Coetzee, Ratuva Tavuyara, Tommaso Menoncello, Joaquin Riera, Monty Ioane, Tomas Albornoz, Dewaldt Duvenage (CAPT), Nahuel Chaparro, Gianmarco Lucchesi, Tiziano Pasquali, Carl Wegner, Federico Ruzza, Giovanni Pettinelli, Michele Lamaro, Riccardo Favretto
Replacements: Gianmarco Nicotera, Federico Zani, Ivan Nemer, Niccolò Cannone, Lorenzo Cannone, Callum Braley, Leonardo Marin, Tommaso Benvenuti
Edinburgh: Henry Immelman, Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, James Lang, Jack Blain, Jaco van der Walt, Ben Vellacott, Boan Venter, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Jamie Hodgson, Grant Gilchrist (CAPT), Jamie Ritchie, Connor Boyle, Viliame Mata
Replacements: Dave Cherry, Pierre Schoeman, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Pierce Phillips, Luke Crosbie, Charlie Shiel, Chris Dean, Ramiro Moyano
Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Mike Blair said: “The boys were buzzing after the win against Scarlets. It was a great result and we showed brilliant team spirit to see out the game and secure the victory in front of a packed-out crowd at DAM Health Stadium. This week has had a really good atmosphere - we were pleased that we got the win but there was also a determination to improve in a number of areas. The boys have put in a lot of work and we’ve prepared well for the challenge that awaits us in Treviso. Benetton are a really strong side. They’ve won the Rainbow Cup and six of their last seven games, including Saturday’s URC opener against a strong Stormers team. They’ll be very confident going into the game."
Glasgow Warriors v Cell C Sharks
Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow – KO 15.05 IRE & UK / 16.05 ITA & SA
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 76th league game)
AR 1: Finlay Brown (SRU), AR 2: Dunx McClement (SRU),
TMO: Ian Davies (WRU)
Live on: Premier Sports 1, URC.TV & SuperSport
Glasgow Warriors: Cole Forbes, Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu, Sam Johnson, Rufus McLean, Ross Thompson, George Horne; Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Murray McCallum, Richie Gray, Scott Cummings, Ryan Wilson, Thomas Gordon, Jack Dempsey.
Replacements: George Turner, Brad Thyer, Murphy Walker, Lewis Bean, Ally Miller, Jamie Dobie, Pete Horne, Stafford McDowall
Cell C Sharks: Curwin Bosch, Yaw Penxe, Werner Kok, Murray Koster, Thaakir Abrahams, Boeta Chamberlain, Ruan Pienaar, Khwezi Mona, Fez Mbatha, Thomas du Toit (V.CAPT), Le Roux Roets, Ruben van Heerden, Dylan Richardson, Gerbrandt Grobler, Phepsi Buthelezi (CAPT)
Replacements: Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Lourens Adriaanse, Hyron Andrews, Thembelani Bholi, James Venter, Tian Meyer, Jeremy Ward
Cell C Sharks assistant coach John Mcfarland said: “The big thing we need to work on is our discipline, the penalties put us under pressure. Munster had 12 entries into our 22 of which 12 came from penalties – that’s the only way they got into our 22. But we’ve made great strides and there has been improvement in our discipline. I think some of the interpretations on the weekend were very different and we have to get used to them, and quickly. We’re excited about the surface we’re playing on, I think it will be a quicker game and we know Glasgow like to keep the ball in hand, so we have to make our tackles and that’s something we can’t fault the players for last weekend – that was a real positive actually.”
Zebre Parma v Ulster Rugby
Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma – KO 17.15 IRE & UK / 18.15 ITA & SA
Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU, 16th league game)
AR 1: Clara Munarini (FIR), AR 2: Luca Trentin (FIR),
TMO: Wayne Davies (WRU)
Live on: URC TV & Premier Sports 2
Zebre Parma: Junior Laloifi, Gabriele Di Giulio, Giulio Bisegni (CAPT), Tommaso Boni, Asaeli Tuivuaka, Carlo Canna, Alessandro Fusco, Danilo Fischetti, Luca Bigi, Matteo Nocera, David Sisi, Leonard Krumov, Maxime Mbanda’, Potu Junior Leavasa, Giovanni Licata
Replacements: Oliviero Fabiani, Andrea Lovotti, Ion Neculai, Andrea Zambonin, Renato Giammarioli, Guglielmo Palazzani, Antonio Rizzi, Jacopo Trulla
Ulster Rugby: Will Addison, Craig Gilroy, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, Nathan Doak, Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor (Capt.), Mick Kearney, Matty Rea, Nick Timoney, David McCann
Replacements: Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Sean Reidy, David Shanahan, Mike Lowry, Ben Moxham
Ospreys v Cardiff Rugby
Swansea.com Stadium, Swansea – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (SARU, 4th league game)
AR 1: Ben Breakspear (WRU), AR 2: Jason Morris (WRU),
TMO: AJ Jacobs (SARU)
Live on: URC.TV, Premier Sports 1
Ospreys: Max Nagy, Mat Protheroe, Michael Collins, Owen Watkin, Luke Morgan, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Webb (CAPT), Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Tomas Francis, Bradley Davies, Rhys Davies, Will Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris
Replacements: Elvis Taione, Rhodri Jones, Tom Botha, Adam Beard, Ethan Roots, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Josh Thomas, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
Cardiff Rugby: Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Josh Adams; Rhys Priestland, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carré, Kirby Myhill, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, Matthew Screech, Josh Turnbull (CAPT), Ellis Jenkins, James Ratti
Replacements: Liam Belcher, Corey Domachowski, Dmitri Arhip, Rory Thornton, Will Boyde, Lloyd Williams, Ben Thomas, Matthew Morgan
Ospreys Head Coach Toby Booth said: “I know Dai Young well from his days with Wasps in the Premiership, so we know what kind of team they want to be under Dai and we saw how well the performed on the weekend. Connacht can be a stubborn team to come away with five points and the victory is very impressive. We know we need to be exactly where we need to be on Saturday.”
Cardiff Rugby Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “I’m looking forward to it. We played against the Ospreys towards the end of last season in the Rainbow Cup but this is a proper league game, which we’re looking forward to. They’ve come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 to 18 months. They’re looking a real quality team and we’ll have to be at our best to get a result down there. They’re very good up front and we know the set piece on the weekend will be a challenge. It’s about the set piece, it’s about the breakdown and it’s about physicality on both sides of the ball. Rhys has passed his return-to-play protocols throughout the week so we’re happy that he’s been given the go-ahead to feature. It’s also good to see Ben Thomas coming onto the bench after recovering from a niggling injury he’s had over the last few weeks. There’s been a couple of changes to the starting line-up, but as I’ve reiterated previously, this is a squad game. We’ll need everyone, from one to 23, to play an important role in the performance.”
Munster Rugby v DHL Stormers
Thomond Park, Limerick – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU, 68th league game)
AR 1: Oisin Quinn (IRFU), AR 2: Daniel Carson (IRFU),
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)
Live on: RTÉ 2, URC.TV & Premier Sports 2
Munster Rugby: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Keith Earls, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly; Joey Carbery, Craig Casey; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Keynan Knox; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Peter O’Mahony (CAPT), Jack O’Donoghue, Gavin Coombes.
Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman, Stephen Archer, RG Snyman, Jack O’Sullivan, Rowan Osborne, Ben Healy, Simon Zebo.
DHL Stormers: Warrick Gelant, Sergeal Petersen, Ruhan Nel, Dan du Plessis, Leolin Zas, Manie Libbok, Stefan Ungerer, Brok Harris, Scarra Ntubeni, Neethling Fouche, Adre Smith, Salmaan Moerat (CAPT), Nama Xaba, Willie Engelbrecht, Evan Roos.
Replacements: Andre-Hugo Venter, Leon Lyons, Sazi Sandi, Ernst van Rhyn, Marcel Theunissen, Godlen Masimla, Tim Swiel, Rikus Pretorius.
DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said “The team are determined to rise to the challenge on Saturday. These are the sorts of games that every player wants to be involved in, so our players will leave it all out there this weekend. We will have to be accurate in our execution in all areas against a good Munster side and we are excited to see what the players coming in can add,"
Sunday, 3rd October
Dragons v Leinster Rugby
Rodney Parade, Newport – KO 14.00 IRE & UK / 15.00 ITA & SA
Referee: AJ Jacobs (SARU, 4th league game)
AR 1: Aled Evans (WRU), AR 2: Jason Bessant (WRU),
TMO: Sean Brickell (WRU)
Live on: S4C, RTÉ 2, URC.TV & Premier Sports 2
Dragons: Josh Lewis, Jonah Holmes, Jack Dixon, Aneurin Owen, Jordan Olowofela, Sam Davies (CAPT), Lewis Jones, Aki Seiuli, Elliot Dee, Mesake Doge, Ben Carter, Will Rowlands, Ross Moriarty (CAPT), Ollie Griffiths, Aaron Wainwright
Replacements: Taylor Davies, Greg Bateman, Chris Coleman, Joe Maksymiw, Taine Basham, Rhodri Williams, Adam Warren, Ioan Davies.
Leinster Rugby: Hugo Keenan, Rob Russell, Garry Ringrose, Conor O’Brien, Rory O’Loughlin, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Michael Ala’alatoa, Ross Molony, James Ryan (CAPT), Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Max Deegan
Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Cian Healy, Ryan Baird, Dan Leavy, Nick McCarthy, Ciarán Frawley, Scott Penny