United Rugby Championship Round 2 Team Announcements

United Rugby Championship Round 2 Team Announcements

The teams for Friday night's Round 2 fixtures of the BKT United Rugby Championship have been named with all details of match officials and broadcast information below.



  • Zebre Parma make two changes in the starting XV with Luca Bigi and Ion Neculai named
  • Rohan Janse van Rensburg makes his URC debut for Cell C Sharks


  • JP Du Preez in line for Glasgow Warriors debut after being named on bench
  • James Ratti makes a return to Cardiff Rugby’s starting line-up


  • Garry Ringrose to captain the Leinster side with six Irish internationals named in the pack
  • Toa Halafihi to start for Benetton with Michele Lamaro leading the side out on the day




Zebre Parma v Cell C Sharks

Stadio Lanfranchi, Parma – KO 17.30 IRE & UK / 18.30 ITA & SA

Referee: Craig Evans (WRU, 34th league game)

AR 1: Federico Vedovelli (FIR) AR 2: Dante D'elia (FIR)

TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)

Live on: Eurosport, Discovery +, Premier Sports, SuperSport & URC.tv

Zebre Parma: Richard Kriel, Pierre Bruno, Erich Cronjé, Enrico Lucchin, Simone Gesi, Tiff Eden, Chris Cook, Paolo Buonfiglio, Luca Bigi, Ion Neculai, David Sisi (CAPT), Leonard Krumov, Luca Andreani, MJ Pelser, Taina Fox-Matamua

Replacements: Giampietro Ribaldi, Juan Pitinari, Muhamed Hasa, Joshua Furno, Gabriele Venditti, Alessandro Fusco, Franco Smith Jr, Jacopo Trulla


Cell C Sharks: Aphelele Fassi, Werner Kok, Ben Tapuai, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Thaakir Abrahams, Boeta Chamerlain, Grant Williams, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Kerron van Vuuren, Thomas du Toit (CAPT), Gerbrandt Grobler, Reniel Hugo, James Venter, Dylan Richardson, Phepsi Buthelezi

Replacements: Dan Jooste, Dian Bleuler, Carlu Sadie, Justin Basson, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Cameron Wright, Fred Zeilinga, Marnus Potgieter

Zebre Parma Head Coach Fabio Roselli said: "The match against (Cell C) Sharks is another good opportunity to tell something about Zebre Parma and our ambitions. The biggest challenge will be in terms of collision, scrum and drive. We should be able to not concede penalties like we did at the start of the game last week against Leinster. It's a good challenge but as usual we are looking forward to it."

Cell C Sharks Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “We’re happy to make amends from our start last year, all the South African teams struggled but we’re coming in with a bit more experience, we know what’s coming our way as far as the opposition is concerned. It’s not like last year when we were going into the unknown. Zebre (Parma) will be a tough nut to crack at home. They put on a good performance against Leinster last weekend [going down 33-29] and I don’t think anyone would have believed the game would be so close; they were pretty unfortunate not to get the result. We’re under no illusions as to what we’re facing on Friday night and we know this competition is unforgiving as some of the teams found out in the first weekend’s action. Preparations have gone well, apart from the injuries picked up by Curwin Bosch and Lionel Cronje, but Boeta showed enough in those pre-season friendlies against the Lions and Stormers that he’s ready to take over the number 10 jersey. We as a group are really excited about the challenge ahead and can’t wait for Friday night’s game.”

Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Rugby

Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA

Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU, 23rd league game)

AR 1: Finlay Brown (SRU) AR 2: Ru Campbell (SRU)

TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)

Live on: Premier Sports, SuperSport, Discovery + & URC.tv

Glasgow Warriors: Cole Forbes, Sebastian Cancelliere, Sione Tuipulotu, Stafford McDowall, Kyle Steyn (CAPT), Tom Jordan, George Horne; Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Richie Gray, Matt Fagerson, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey

Replacements: George Turner, Oli Kebble, Lucio Sordoni, JP du Preez, Sintu Manjezi, Thomas Gordon, Ali Price, Domingo Miotti

Cardiff Rugby: Matthew Morgan, Aled Summerhill, Mason Grady, Max Llewellyn, Josh Adams, Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams, Rhys Carré, Kristian Dacey, Dillon Lewis, Josh Turnbull (CAPT), Seb Davies, James Botham, Thomas Young, James Ratti

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Brad Thyer, Keiron Assiratti, Matthew Screech, Lopeti Timani, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland, Uilisi Halaholo

Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Franco Smith said: “It’s been almost six months since the squad have played in front of their home crowd and everyone has been fighting hard to earn the chance to run out at Scotstoun on Friday night. Last weekend’s game was not how we wanted to start our season; however, it has given us valuable insight into what our players have taken away from pre-season and our new game plan. We have challenged the players to be brave this Friday, and begin writing our own story going forward.”


Cardiff Rugby Director Of Rugby Dai Young said: “We have made a few changes, either due to injury or to look after players who are a bit battered and bruised following a big effort last week. It’s important to manage these guys to ensure we get plenty from them through the season, and we have some quality coming in to replace them. We haven’t done well away and that is something we have to put right quickly. There were a lot of good things on the weekend, and if we can build on them then there’s no reason why we can’t be in with a chance of getting a result here. It’s Glasgow’s first home game in a while, under a new coach as well, but last week didn’t go to plan. So they’ll be desperate to get a performance in and get their season up-and-running. We know they’re a quality team, and listening to some of the talk after the game, they were more pleased with the second half than they were with the first. In the second half they demonstrated that they’re a team who want to play rugby from all areas of the pitch, and that’s what we expect. We’re going to have to be on our toes defensively right across the pitch because they’ll look to attack from anywhere and really take us on.”


Leinster v Benetton

RDS Arena, Dublin – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA

Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARU, 11th league game)

AR 1: Paul Haycock (IRFU) AR 2: Andrew Fogarty (IRFU)

TMO: Ian Davies (WRU)

Live on: TG4, Discovery +, Premier Sports, SuperSport & URC.tv

Leinster: Jimmy O’Brien, Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose (CAPT), Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Ciarán Frawley, Luke McGrath, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Michael Ala’alatoa, James Ryan, Jason Jenkins, Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris

Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Ed Byrne, Cian Healy, Ross Molony, Will Connors, Cormac Foley, Ross Byrne, Charlie Ngatai

Benetton: Ignacio Mendy, Mattia Bellini, Joaquin Riera, Marco Zanon, Onisi Ratave, Giacomo Da Re, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Ivan Nemer, Giacomo Nicotera, Simone Ferrari, Niccolò Cannone, Scott Scrafton, Giovanni Pettinelli, Michele Lamaro (CAPT), Toa Halafihi

Replacements: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Federico Zani, Filippo Alongi, Carl Wegner, Henry Time-Stowers, Manfredi Albanese, Tommaso Menoncello, Ratuva Tavuyara

Benetton Head Coach Marco Bortolami said“Leinster are a team that moves the ball and plays in wide open spaces so the aspect of placing well on the pitch will be crucial. This weekend we will have to take a step forward in growth, maintaining consistency in the static phases that allows us to manage the game as we want. Playing away from home we will have to find the same motivation and energy we had against Glasgow (Warriors), knowing that it will be a game in which we will have to show tenacity and put all our strength on the pitch.”

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