United Rugby Championship Round 2 Team Announcements

United Rugby Championship Round 2 Team Announcements

The teams for this weekend's Round 2 fixtures of the 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


  • Josh Macleod returns at flanker for Scarlets
  • Ireland internationals, Rob Herring, Kieran Treadwell, Nick Timoney and Michael Lowry make a return to Ulster’s match-day squad


  • Johan Goosen will make a return to the side, starting at fullback for the Vodacom Bulls
  • Sam Skinner makes his first start for Edinburgh Rugby as Grant Gilchrist and Hamish Watson return to the match day sqaud


  • Two debuts in the backline for DHL Stormers, Suleiman Hartzenberg and Clayton Blommetjies
  • Connacht make nice changes to the side including a new front row of Denis Buckley, Dylan Tierney-Martin and Finlay Bealham


  • Jack Walsh will make his first start for the Ospreys this week
  • Fullback Andries Coetzee will run out for his 100th appearance for the Emirates Lions


  • Ashton Hewitt and Tane Basham return to Dragons RFC starting XV as George Nott will make his debut for the club
  • Peter O’Mahony returns to captain the Munster side with academy player Edwin Edogbo, named among the replacements & is in line to make his debut




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.”




Scarlets v Ulster

Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli – KO 13.00 IRE & UK / 14.00 ITA & SA

Referee: AJ Jacobs (SARU, 11th league game)

AR 1: Mike English (WRU) AR 2: Elliot Mayor (WRU)

TMO: Sam Grove-White (SRU)

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

Scarlets: Ioan Nicholas, Corey Baldwin, Jonathan Davies (CAPT), Johnny Williams, Ryan Conbeer, Sam Costelow, Gareth Davies, Steff Thomas, Ryan Elias, Javan Sebastian, Vaea Fifita, Sam Lousi, Blade Thomson, Josh Macleod, Sione Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Daf Hughes, Sam O’Connor, Harri O’Connor, Tom Price, Luca Giannini, Kieran Hardy, Dan Jones, Rhys Patchell

Ulster: Michael Lowry, Aaron Sexton, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney, Andy Warwick, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor (CAPT), Kieran Treadwell, Matty Rea, Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney

Replacements: Declan Moore, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Sam Carter, Sean Reffell, Dave Shanahan, Angus Curtis, Craig Gilroy

Scarlets Head Coach Dwayne Peel said: “It’s another home game which is good for us to get that momentum. Ulster played really well and were very clinical against Connacht last weekend; their drive was a real weapon, as it has been for the last couple of years. They are a top team as they showed last season. It is a big challenge ahead of us, but we are excited about it.”

Ulster Defence Coach Jonny Bell said: “Scarlets is going to be a different game this week in many ways. They are a team that like to play a bit of rugby and, with Dwayne Peel knowing the Ulster squad inside and out, I have no doubt that he’ll have something up his sleeve. We need to be on our mettle against a very good side, and it’s going to be a challenge for us defensively, but that’s what we want.”


Vodacom Bulls v Edinburgh Rugby

Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria – KO 13.30 IRE & UK / 14.30 ITA & SA

Referee: Adam Jones (WRU, 23rd league game)

AR 1: Marius van der Westhuizen (SARU) AR 2: Griffin Colby (SARU)

TMO: Sean Brickell (WRU)

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

Vodacom Bulls: Johan Goosen, Cornal Hendricks, Lionel Mapoe, David Kriel, Stravino Jacobs, Chris Smith, Zak Burger; Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar, Mornay Smith, Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Ruan Vermaak, Elrigh Louw

Replacements: Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Simphiwe Matanzima, Francois Klopper, Janko Swanepoel, Marco van Staden; Embrose Papier, Morne Steyn, Stedman Gans


Edinburgh Rugby: Henry Immelman, Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, James Lang, Damien Hoyland, Blair Kinghorn, Henry Pyrgos, Pierre Schoeman, Dave Cherry, WP Nel, Sam Skinner, Grant Gilchrist (CO-CAPT), Jamie Ritchie (CO-CAPT), Luke Crosbie, Viliame Mata

Replacements: Stuart McInally, Boan Venter, Luan de Bruin, Marshall Sykes, Hamish Watson, Ben Vellacott, Jaco van der Walt, Chris Dean


Vodacom Bulls Director Of Rugby Jake White said: “It was good to be able to start the new season on a winning note, beating a tough Emirates Lions side in their own backyard. We had a few areas we identified that we needed to work on this week and the boys were hard at work getting those better. Edinburgh is a tough and talented side. They had an incredible game against Dragons (RFC) last weekend where they won by a convincing margin. We know how tough they are from our last meeting in the previous season where they beat us. We will need to be at our best if we want to get a  good result. We expect another tough encounter against a well-coached outfit.”

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Mike Blair said: “It’s been a good week of training as we once again acclimatise to conditions in South Africa – the squad are raring to go. We’ve talked about the brilliant challenge of facing teams like (Vodacom) Bulls in their own backyard and that’s added another layer of motivation for us as a team. These are the games you want to be playing in, especially in one of the world rugby’s great stadiums like Loftus. As we saw last season, (Vodacom) Bulls are a hugely physical side with try-scoring threats across the park. We know we’re going to have be at our best this weekend, but we’re thrilled with the opportunity to once again represent Edinburgh and our supporters back home.”


DHL Stormers v Connacht

Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – KO 13.30  IRE & UK / 14.30 ITA & SA

Referee : Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR, 17th league game)

AR 1: Morne Ferreira (SARU) AR 2: Stephan Guldenhuys (SARU)

TMO: Matteo Liperini (FIR)

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


DHL Stormers: Clayton Blommetjies, Angelo Davids, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Dan du Plessis, Seabelo Senatla, Manie Libbok, Paul de Wet, Ali Vermaak, Andre-Hugo Venter, Brok Harris, Ernst van Rhyn (CAPT), Marvin Orie, Junior Pokomela, Hacjivah Dayimani, Evan Roos

Replacements: Chad Solomon, Kwenzo Blose, Neethling Fouche, Adré Smith, Marcel Theunissen, Willie Engelbrecht, Godlen Masimla, Sacha Mngomezulu

Connacht: Oran McNulty, John Porch, Byron Ralston, Tom Farrell, Mack Hansen, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade, Denis Buckley, Dylan Tierney-Martin, Finlay Bealham, Josh Murphy, Niall Murray, Cian Prendergast, Jarrad Butler (CAPT), Paul Boyle

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Peter Dooley, Jack Aungier, Oisín Dowling, Shamus Hurley-Langton, Kieran Marmion, Bundee Aki, David Hawkshaw


DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said: "We have seen the likes of Clayton, Suleiman and some of the others show some real promise in our pre-season and it will be good to see how they react on Saturday. We have got an exciting blend of youth and experience, along with more than a few players who really stepped up for us consistently last season. The players can't wait to get going again and we know how important it will be to make a strong start this week, especially as we are playing in a rugby-mad place like Stellenbosch on what should be a great day for it."

Connacht Director Of Rugby Andy Friend said: “We’ve had a positive week so far in South Africa. After arriving on Tuesday, we’ve managed to get the required training done and we’re in a good space heading into our game against the (DHL) Stormers. I don’t believe that our performance against Ulster was reflective of all the hard work we’d put in during pre-season, and I’m very confident that we’ll deliver a much improved performance on Saturday against last year’s champions.”


Ospreys v Emirates Lions

Swansea.com Stadium, Swansea – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA

Referee: Eoghan Cross (IRFU)

AR 1: Rhys Jones (WRU) AR 2: Dai Cambourne (WRU)

TMO: Andrew McMenemy (IRFU)

Live on: S4C, Premier Sports, S4C, SuperSport, Discovery + & URC.tv

Ospreys: Max Nagy, Luke Morgan, George North, Michael Collins, Keelan Giles, Jack Walsh, Rhys Webb, Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric (CAPT), Morgan Morris

Replacements: Dewi Lake, Garyn Phillips, Tom Botha, Rhys Davies, Will Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Reuben Morgan Williams, Joe Hawkins

Emirates Lions: Andries Coetzee, Edwill van der Merwe, Zander du Plessis, Marius Louw, Quan Horn, Gianni Lombard, Sanele Nohamba, Sti Sithole, PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Ruben Schoeman, Reinhard Nothnagel (CAPT), Sibusiso Sangweni, Emmanuel Tshituka, Franke Horn

Replacements: Jaco Visagie, JP Smith, Ruan Smith, Pieter Jansen van Vuren, Ruan Venter,  Morne van den Berg, Jordan Hendrikse, Sango Xamlashe

Ospreys Head Coach Toby Booth said: “We know we have to adapt and learn which is a sign of a good side. We’ve had one season exposed to the South African sides and now have a greater understanding first hand of what that looks and feels like so we’ll see how much we’ve learnt those lessons from last season on Saturday. We know what’s coming and we’re going to have to be good enough to deal with it. We’re looking forward to being back at home. It’s been a while and the first home game is always special so it’ll be great to see a lot of people come down and watch us. As we saw previously at the end of last year it really makes a difference so hopefully they’ll all come out and we’ll give them something to cheer about.” 

Emirates Lions Forwards and Lineouts Coach Albert van den Berg said“We will have to improve on our individual mistakes ahead of Saturday and avoid conceding soft penalties because we know that a team like Ospreys will capitalise on our errors. A big emphasis has been geared towards improving on a few technical aspects especially in our lineout and scrums and to ensure everyone understands and executes their roles accurately.”




Dragons RFC v Munster

Rodney Parade, Newport – KO 15.00 IRE & UK / 16.00 ITA & SA

Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU, 25th league game)

AR 1: Simon Rees (WRU) AR 2: Aaron Parry (WRU)

TMO: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)

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

Dragons RFC: Angus O’Brien, Rio Dyer, Sio Tomkinson, Jack Dixon, Ashton Hewitt, JJ Hanrahan, Rhodri Williams; Aki Seiuli, Bradley Roberts, Lloyd Fairbrother, George Nott, Will Rowlands (CAPT), Sean Lonsdale, Taine Basham, Ross Moriarty

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rob Evans, Chris Coleman, Ben Carter, Aaron Wainwright, Lewis Jones, Max Clark, Jordan Williams

Munster: Mike Haley, Keith Earls, Malakai Fekitoa, Dan Goggin, Simon Zebo, Ben Healy, Craig Casey, Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O'Donoghue, Peter O’Mahony (CAPT), Jack O'Sullivan.               

Replacements: Scott Buckley, Liam O’Connor, Keynan Knox, Edwin Edogbo, Tadhg Beirne, Paddy Patterson, Joey Carbery, Liam Coombes

Dragons RFC Head Coach Dai Flanagan said: “We’re looking forward to being back on home soil and looking for a response after our opening performance. Munster don’t lose twice on the bounce often, so we must respect them. But we’ve also got to look after what we can look after, and we've got to show improvement.”

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