The second round of the URC continues today with Ulster and Munster in action. Find out all you need to know here.


TV

Munster’s meeting with the DHL Stormers and Leinster’s clash with the Dragons are live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, while Connacht v Bulls is on TG4. Zebre v Ulster is on Premier Sport 2.

RADIO

RTÉ Radio 1 will have live commentary of Dragons v Leinster on Sunday Sport.

ONLINE

RTE.ie/sport will have live blogs across the weekend with match reports and reaction from the grounds. All games are live on URC TV.

WEATHER

Parma should see partly sunny and pleasant conditions at about 24C. Limerick is set to be 12C and partly cloudy Saturday evening.

Newport is forecast to see partly sunny and breezy conditions with a couple of showers, 15C.


Ulster got their URC campaign off to a rip-roaring start with an entertaining 35-29 victory over Glasgow at Ravenhill.

Dan McFarland hands a starting debut to rising star Nathan Doak, who got on the scoresheet against the Warriors after replacing injured scrum-half John Cooney.

The visitors have lost just twice in 15 meetings to Zebre, who were beaten 38-26 by the Emirates Lions last weekend.

Asaeli Tuivuaka will make his debut on the wing for the Italians, while head coach Michael Bradley, the former Ireland international scrum-half, will reach his 100th official match with Zebre.

They are looking to avoid a tenth straight loss in the league.


Zebre: 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: 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.

Johann van Graan's side will look to make it two from two against South African opposition as the Stormers rock up in Limerick.

Munster ran in six tries against a disappointing visiting Sharks side last weekend, with the returning Simon Zebo grabbing a brace.

The Stormers, meanwhile, were narrowly defeated in Benetton, 22-18, with coach John Dobson left to lament poor discipline by his side.

Keith Earls is back for the hosts and is named at outside centre, while prop Brok Harris earns his 94th cap for the Stormers in his first appearance for the team since 2014, with over 100 caps for the Dragons in between.

Adre Smith and Stefan Ungerer earn their first starts.


Munster: 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.

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.

Champions Leinster got off to a winning start with an impressive four-try run-out against the Bulls last week and have named another strong outfit for the trip to Wales.

Dan Leavy is in line for a first outing since undergoing surgery in February, the Ireland flanker is named on the bench. Johnny Sexton and Luke McGrath are rested for the game, while Leo Cullen said last week that the Lions Test players would only come into the reckoning around round 4.

James Ryan captains Leinster for the first time. Josh van der Flier starts to earn his 100th cap, while Rob Russell makes his debut. Conor O'Brien also returns from long-term injury.

Dragons have lost their last 10 games in a row to Leinster and following last week's 27-23 defeat by Ospreys are looking to break a five-game losing streak.

Elliot Dee starts at hooker for first Dragons appearance of the season as Dean Ryan's outfit look for a first victory over an Irish province since beating Connacht in 2017.


Dragons: Josh Lewis; Jonah Holmes, Jack Dixon, Aneurin Owen, Jordan Olowofela; Sam Davies, 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: 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, Ciaran Frawley, Scott Penny.


UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES



Andy Friend's Connacht side will want to get a win under their belt following last week's 33-21 loss away to Cardiff.

It was back in 2016/17 when they last lost their opening two matches.

The hosts have been boosted by the return to fitness of scrum-half Caolin Blade and new second row Leva Fifita, both starting on the bench, while Abraham Papali'i starts at 8.

The Bulls, meanwhile, were beaten 31-3 by Leinster at the Aviva, as they struggled to match an admittedly stacked home side.

Coach Jake White hands Ruan Combrinck his first start after making his debut off the bench during the Currie Cup. Lizo Gqoboka, Joe van Zyl and Stravino Jacobs return to the starting line-up.

Connacht have won eight of their last nine games against South African opposition.


Connacht: Tiernan O'Halloran; John Porch, Tom Farrell, Tom Daly, Mack Hansen; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Jordan Duggan, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham; Oisin Dowling, Ultan Dillane; Cian Prendergast, Jarrad Butler (capt), Abraham Papali’i.

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Matthew Burke, Jack Aungier, Leva Fifita, Conor Oliver, Caolin Blade, Paul Boyle, Sammy Arnold.

Bulls: Ruan Combrinck; Cornal Hendricks, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Stravino Jacobs; Johan Goosen, Zak Burger; Lizo Gqoboka, Joe van Zyl, Jacques van Rooyen; Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Nortje; Marcell Coetzee (capt), Arno Botha, Elrigh Louw.

Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Simphiwe Matanzima, Mornay Smith, Janko Swanepoel, Jacques du Plessis, Embrose Papier, Chris Smith, Stedman Gans.

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