URC Team Announcements Round 17

URC Team Announcements Round 17

The teams for this weekend's Round 17 fixtures of the United Rugby Championship have been named with all details of match officials and broadcast information below.



  • Arno Botha returns to the Vodacom Bulls side while James Verity-Amm earns a place in the starting XV
  • Glasgow Warriors make seven changes to the team including the return of captain Ryan Wilson


  • Conor Murray and Ben Healy form the half-back partnership for Munster
  • Josh Navidi set to captain Cardiff Rugby as they make the trip to Cork


  • Stean Pienaar returns to the Emirates Lions starting XV
  • Edoardo Padovani and Monty Ioane are set to start on the wings for Benetton


  • Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt shows commitment naming an unchanged side which defeated league leaders Leinster last weekend
  • Connacht are hoping to cap a second win on their South African tour with six changes to the side


  • Three changes have been made to Zebre Parma’s starting XV ahead of Saturday’s match-up against Dragons
  • Joe Davies will make his 100th appearance for Dragons


  • Three changes have been made to DHL Stormers side this week as they look to make it eight consecutive home wins
  • Rhys Ruddock will captain Leinster as they make the trip to Cape Town


  • Adam Beard will make his 100th appearance for the Ospreys
  • Javan Sebastian will make his 50th appearance for Scarlets


  • Internationalists WP Nel, Stuart McInally, Jamie Hodgson, Grant Gilchrist, Magnus Bradbury, James Lang and Emiliano Boffelli all return to Edinburgh’s starting XV
  • Billy Burns returns from injury to start at out-half for Ulster




Vodacom Bulls v Glasgow Warriors

Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria – KO 18.00 IRE & UK / 19.00 ITA & SA

Referee: Nika Amashukeli (GRU, 3rd league game)

AR 1: AJ Jacobs (SARU) AR 2: Griffin Colby (SARU) 

TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (SARU)

Live on: SuperSport, Premier Sports & URC TV

Vodacom Bulls: Canan Moodie, James Verity-Amm, Lionel Mapoe, Cornal Hendricks, Madosh Tambwe, Morne Steyn, Zak Burger; Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar, Mornay Smith, Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Arno Botha, Elrigh Louw

Replacements: Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Simphiwe Matanzima, Dylan Smith, Janko Swanepoel, Cyle Brink; Embrose Papier, Chris Smith, Harold Vorster


Glasgow Warriors: Ollie Smith, Josh McKay, Sione Tuipulotu, Stafford McDowall, Cole Forbes, Duncan Weir, Ali Price, Jamie Bhatti, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Rob Harley, Richie Gray, Ryan Wilson (CAPT), Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Oli Kebble, Simon Berghan, Kiran McDonald, Thomas Gordon, Jamie Dobie, Ross Thompson, Sam Johnson


Vodacom Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White said: “We have a tough task ahead of us this Friday. Despite their defeat to the DHL Stormers last week, Glasgow Warriors are a formidable side that we expect will bring a huge challenge for us. They are a well-coached group with a number of highly talented internationals in their squad. We will need to be alert and be at our best for the entire 80 minutes."


Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Danny Wilson said: “After a physical encounter with the Stormers last weekend, we’re looking forward to another challenging test against the Bulls tomorrow night. We’re pleased to welcome back the experience of club co-captains Ryan Wilson and Fraser Brown. The Bulls are a physical side who have been very good at home and we’ll need to be at our best when we take them on tomorrow night in Pretoria.”

Munster v Cardiff Rugby

Musgrave Park, Cork – KO 19.35  IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA

Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU, 23rd league game)

AR 1: Frank Murphy (IRFU) AR 2: Robbie Jenkinson (IRFU)

TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)

Live on: TG4, BBC Wales, Premier Sports, SuperSport & URC TV

Munster: Mike Haley, Calvin Nash, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo, Ben Healy, Conor Murray, Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Thomas Ahern, Peter O'Mahony (CAPT), Alex Kendellen, Jack O'Donoghue

Replacements: Scott Buckley, Josh Wycherley, Keynan Knox, Jason Jenkins, Jack Daly, Craig Casey, Joey Carbery, Shane Daly

Cardiff Rugby: Hallam Amos, Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Max Llewellyn, Theo Cabango, Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Carré, Kristian Dacey, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, Rory Thornton, James Botham, Josh Navidi (CAPT), James Ratti

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Keiron Assiratti, Matthew Screech, Ellis Jenkins, Jamie Hill, Rhys Priestland, Garyn Smith

Cardiff Rugby Director of Rugby Dai Young said:  “It’s no secret that we have been disappointed with our results in recent weeks and it doesn’t get any easier going over to Munster. Facing them over in Ireland is always a big challenge and we will need to be at our best to have any chance of securing a result. We can only concentrate on ourselves, focusing on our performance and ensuring we see significant improvements in our game. It is really important that we finish this URC season as positively as possible as we continue building.”


Emirates Lions v Benetton

Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg – KO 13.00  IRE & UK / 14.00 ITA & SA

Referee: Andy Brace (IRFU, 77th league game)

AR 1: AJ Jacobs (SARU) AR 2: Griffin Colby (SARU) 

TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (SARU)

Live on: SuperSport, Mediaset, Premier Sports, TG4 & URC TV

Emirates Lions: Quan Horn, Stean Pienaar, Wandisile Simelane, Burger Odendaal (CAPT), Edwill van der Merwe, Jordan Hendrikse, Morne van den Berg, JP Smith, PJ Botha, Carlu Sadie, Ruben Schoeman, Reinhard Nothnagel, Francke Horn, Vincent Tshituka, Emmanuel Tshituka

Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Sti Sithole, Ruan Dreyer, Ruan Venter, Sibusiso Sangweni, Andre Warner, Manuel Rass, Tiaan Swanepoel

Benetton: Rhyno Smith, Edoardo Padovani, Tommaso Menoncello, Filippo Drago, Monty Ioane, Tomas Albornoz, Dewaldt Duvenage (CAPT), Thomas Gallo, Giacomo Nicotera, Simone Ferrari, Irnè Herbst, Carl Wegner, Giovanni Pettinelli, Manuel Zuliani, Lorenzo Cannone

Replacements: Hame Faiva, Ivan Nemer, Tiziano Pasquali, Federico Ruzza, Matteo Meggiato, Alessandro Garbisi, Leonardo Marin, Andries Coetzee

Cell C Sharks v Connacht

Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban – KO 15.05 IRE & UK / 16.05 ITA & SA

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU, 61st league game)

AR 1: Cwengile Jadezweni (SARU) AR 2: Stephan Geldenhuys (SARU)

TMO: Quinton Immelman (SARU)

Live on: SuperSport, TG4, Premier Sports & URC TV

Cell C Sharks: Aphelele Fassi, Werner Kok, Ben Tapuai, Marius Louw, Makazole Mapimpi, Curwin Bosch, Jaden Hendrikse, Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit (CAPT), Le Roux Roets, Gerbrandt Grobler, Siya Kolisi, Henco Venter, Phepsi Buthelezi

Replacements: . Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Khutha Mchunu, Reniel Hugo, Jeandre Labuschagne, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Grant Williams, Boeta Chamberlain

Connacht: Mack Hansen, John Porch, Tom Farrell, Tom Daly, Alex Wootton, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade, Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Leva Fifita, Cian Prendergast, Conor Oliver, Jarrad Butler (CAPT)

Replacements: Dylan Tierney-Martin, Jordan Duggan, Jack Aungier, Niall Murray, Oisín Dowling, Kieran Marmion, Jack Carty, Tiernan O’Halloran

Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said“Beating all four South African teams would be a tremendous achievement but we’re full aware we’ve a significant task ahead of us tomorrow. The Sharks have named a side full of Springbok internationals and will have a large and passionate fanbase behind them in Durban. That said, the group has taken huge confidence from the win in Johannesburg and the atmosphere around the camp all week has been really positive.”

Zebre Parma v Dragons

Stadio Lanfranchi, Parma – KO 15.05 IRE & UK / 16.05 ITA & SA

Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU, 21st league game)

AR 1:  Riccardo Angelucci (FIR) AR 2: Dario Merli (FIR)

TMO: Stefano Roscini (FIR)

Live on: Mediaset, S4C, Premier Sports, SuperSport & URC TV

Zebre Parma: Junior Laloifi, Jacopo Trulla, Erich Cronjé, Enrico Lucchin, Simone Gesi, Antonio Rizzi, Chris Cook, Danilo Fischetti, Luca Bigi, Ion Neculai, David Sisi (CAPT), Andrea Zambonin, Maxime Mbandà, Jimmy Tuivaiti, Taina Fox-Matamua

Replacements: Giampietro Ribaldi, Paolo Buonfiglio, Eduardo Bello, Gabriele Venditti, Luca Andreani, Alessandro Fusco, Timothy O’Malley, Michelangelo Biondelli

Dragons: Jordan Williams, Rio Dyer, Adam Warren, Jack Dixon, Jared Rosser, Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams, Aki Seiuli, Taylor Davies, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Ben Carter, Harri Keddie (CAPT), Ben Fry, Taine Basham

Replacements: James Benjamin, Josh Reynolds, Mesake Doge, Huw Taylor, Lennon Greggains, Lewis Jones, Will Reed, Josh Lewis

DHL Stormers v Leinster

DHL Stadium, Cape Town – KO 17.15 IRE & UK / 18.15 ITA & SA

Referee: Craig Evans (WRU, 32nd league game)

AR 1: Aimee Barrett-Theron (SARU)  AR 2: Morné Ferreira (SARU)

TMO: Ben Crouse (SARU)

Live on: SuperSport, RTÉ 2, Premier Sports & URC TV

DHL Stormers: Warrick Gelant, Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel, Damian Willemse, Leolin Zas, Manie Libbok, Herschel Jantjies, Steven Kitshoff (CAPT), JJ Kotze, Frans Malherbe, Adre Smith, Marvin Orie, Deon Fourie, Hacjivah Dayimani, Evan Roos

Replacements: Wilmar Arnoldi, Brok Harris, Neethling Fouche, Salmaan Moerat, Junior Pokomela, Ben-Jason Dixon, Paul de Wet, Juan de Jongh

Leinster: Max O'Reilly, Adam Byrne, Jamie Osborne, Rory O'Loughlin, Rob Russell, Ciarán Frawley, Cormac Foley, Ed Byrne, John McKee, Thomas Clarkson, Brian Deeny, Josh Murphy, Alex Soroka, Scott Penny, Rhys Ruddock (CAPT)

Replacements: Lee Barron, Michael Milne, Vakh Abdaladze, Jack Dunne, Seán O'Brien, Nick McCarthy, Harry Byrne, Martin Moloney

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said"This should be a great occasion for a number of reasons, with the top two teams on the standings taking each other on at DHL Stadium. This is a crucial game for both teams with the play-offs getting closer and we are expecting an intense game. We know Leinster's pedigree and saw how competitive they were last week, so we are looking forward to measuring ourselves against them. We will have to be accurate and clinical in all that we do for the full 80 minutes, which is a challenge that the team is embracing.”

Ospreys v Scarlets

Swansea.com Stadium, Swansea – KO 17.15 IRE & UK / 18.15 ITA & SA

Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARU, 9th league game)

AR 1: Adam Jones (WRU) AR 2: Rhys Jones (WRU)

TMO: Wayne Davies (WRU)

Live on: Premier Sport, SuperSport & URC TV

Ospreys: Mat Protheroe, Alex Cuthbert, Michael Collins, Owen Watkin, Keelan Giles, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Webb (CAPT), Gareth Thomas, Dewi Lake, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris

Replacements: Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Tom Botha, Rhys Davies, Ethan Roots, Reuben Morgan Williams, Stephen Myler, George North

Scarlets: Liam Williams, Corey Baldwin, Jonathan Davies (CAPT), Johnny Williams, Ryan Conbeer, Sam Costelow, Gareth Davies, Steff Thomas, Ryan Elias, Javan Sebastian, Sam Lousi, Jac Price, Josh Macleod, Tomas Lezana, Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements: Daf Hughes, Rob Evans, WillGriff John, Morgan Jones, Aaron Shingler, Kieran Hardy, Rhys Patchell, Steff Evans

Ospreys Head Coach Toby Booth said“This is the West Wales Derby and we haven’t played the Scarlets at home in Swansea since I have been coach. It will be good to do that and to do that with a crowd will be great. We know how important this game is to supporters and people associated with the club and it’s the same for the Scarlets. All derbies are significant but we know for a lot of people this derby is even more significant. It’s also a reflection on the progress we are making as a team. The Scarlets are a very good team and everybody knows they are a very good team and they pose a different threat to Cardiff.”

Scarlets Head Coach Dwayne Peel said“It is obviously a big game with a lot at stake, it is perfect, both sides with something to play for. The Ospreys have been going well, they have been physical and we are expecting exactly that. It is massively important to us to be in the top tier of European competition. We have a good heritage and tradition in that tournament and we also want to be the top Welsh side, that is the bottom line. When you start a season you set yourselves goals and that is one and I am sure the Ospreys are saying the same. It is adding a bit of spice.”

Edinburgh Rugby v Ulster

The DAM Health Stadium, Edinburgh – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 84th league game)

AR 1: Ian Kenny (SRU) AR 2: Dunx McClement (SRU)

TMO: Ben Blain (SRU)

Live on: Premier Sport, SuperSport & URC TV

Edinburgh Rugby: Jaco van der Walt, Damien Hoyland, Mark Bennett, James Lang, Emiliano Boffelli, Blair Kinghorn, Ben Vellacott, Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Jamie Hodgson, Grant Gilchrist (CAPT), Luke Crosbie, Hamish Watson, Magnus Bradbury

Replacements: Dave Cherry, Harrison Courtney, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Pierce Phillips, Ben Muncaster, Henry Pyrgos, Chris Dean, Matt Currie

Ulster: Mike Lowry, Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, Nathan Doak, Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Iain Henderson (CAPT), Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane, Alan O’Connor, Matty Rea, John Cooney, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Mike Blair said: “We’ve talked a lot this season about constantly being in the moment and that mind set is something we need to continue this weekend as we face perhaps the biggest test so far at DAM Health Stadium. Ulster are an excellent side with a number of dangerous players so we know that we have to be switched on from the very first whistle. The home crowd are going to have a huge part to play on Saturday night and it’s been absolutely brilliant to see the number of tickets sold throughout the week as we approach the club’s very first sell out at the DAM Health. Running out in front of a full house will be a special moment for the players and hopefully it will act as a catalyst for a special performance.”

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