The first round of matches in the Guinness PRO12 take place this weekend with two matches scheduled for Friday night, three for Saturday and one for Sunday.
The opening fixture of the tournament kicking off tonight in Limerick will see Munster Rugby hosting Edinburgh Rugby and for the last fixture of the round Cardiff Blues travel to Italy to take on Zebre at the Stadio XXV Aprile.
Alan Solomons Edinburgh will be looking for a much improved performance compared to the last one they delivered against Munster in the PRO12. On that day early in May last season they were comprehensively defeated by 43 points as Munster helped themselves to 55 points while Edinburgh, who were playing hosts away from Murrayfield at Meggetland, only managed a paltry 12 points.
The big match of the weekend must surely be on Saturday between last years PRO12 finalists Glasgow Warriors and Leinster at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow. The Warriors, lead out by captain Josh Strauss, will be looking for revenge following their disappointing defeat to Leinster in Dublin in the final last season.
There will be two players running out for their 100th match for their teams at Scotstoun, namely Glasgow’s flanker Rob Harley and Leinster’s scrumhalf Isaac Boss. The milestone for Boss is even more significant as he will become the first player t0 have played 100 matches for two different Irish Provinces, having represented Ulster 108 times.
|Fri 5 Sep||19:35||Munster||v||Edinburgh||Thomond Park||TG4/BBC ALBA|
|Fri 5 Sep||19:35||Ospreys||v||Benetton Treviso||Liberty Stadium||BBC Wales|
|Sat 6 Sep||14:40||Scarlets||v||Ulster||Parc y Scarlets||Sky|
|Sat 6 Sep||17:00||Connacht||v||Newport Gwent Dragons||Sportsground|
|Sat 6 Sep||17:15||Glasgow Warriors||v||Leinster||Scotstoun Stadium||Sky|
|Sun 7 Sep||17:00||Zebre||v||Cardiff Blues||Stadio XXV Aprile||TBA/S4C|
courtesy of therugbypaper
Munster v Edinburgh
Munster: Ronan O’Mahony; Andrew Conway, Johne Murphy, Andrew Smith, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Kevin O’Byrne, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan (capt), Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Sean Dougall, Shane Buckley.
Replacements: Duncan Casey, Alan Cotter, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Tommy O’Donnell, Cathal Sheridan, Johnny Holland, Ivan Dineen.
Edinburgh: Jack Cuthbert; Dougie Fife, Sam Beard, Andries Strauss, Tim Visser; Greig Tonks, Sean Kennedy; Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford (capt), John Andress, Fraser McKenzie, Ollie Atkins, Tomas Leonardi, Hamish Watson, Cornell Du Preez.
Replacements: James Hilterbrand, Rory Sutherland, W P Nel, Ben Toolis, Mike Coman, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Nick McLennan, Phil Burleigh.
Ospreys v Treviso
Ospreys: Dan Evans; Jeff Hassler, Andrew Bishop, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis, Lloyd Peers (capt), Rynier Bernardo, Joe Bearman, James King, Dan Baker.
Replacements: Sam Parry, Duncan Jones, Daniel Suter, Tyler Ardron, Morgan Allen, Martin Roberts, Sam Davies, Hanno Dirksen.
Treviso: Simone Ragusi; Ludovico Nitoglia, Luca Morisi, Sam Christie, Michele Campagnaro; Joe Carlisle, James Ambrosini; Matteo Muccignat, Davide Giazzon, Rupert Harden, Marco Fuser, Corniel Van Zyl (capt), Meyer Swanepoel, Tomas Vallejos Cinalli, Leo Auva’a.
Replacements: Giovanni Maistri, Salesi Manu, Matteo Zanusso, Marco Lazzaroni, Mat Luamanu, Marco Barbini, Angelo Esposito, Henry Seniloli.
Scarlets v Ulster
Scarlets: Liam Williams; Harry Robinson, Regan King, Scott Williams, Michael Tagicakibau; Rhys Priestland, Gareth Davies; Phil John, Ken Owens (Capt.), Rhodri Jones; Jake Ball, Johan Snyman; Rob McCusker, John Barclay, Rory Pitman.
Replacement: Emyr Phillips, Rob Evans, Peter Edwards, Richard Kelly, Aaron Shingler, Rhodri Williams, Steven Shingler, Gareth Owen.
Ulster: L Ludik; M Allen, J Payne, S Olding, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, P Marshall; C Black, R Herring, W Herbst; D Tuohy, F van der Merwe; R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson (Capt.).
Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, D Fitzpatrick, L Stevenson, N Williams, M Heaney, L Marshall, A Trimble.
Connacht v NG Dragons
Connacht: Shane Layden; Niyi Adeolokun, Darragh Leader, David McSharry, Danie Poolman; Jack Carty, Ian Porter; Denis Buckley, David Heffernan, Nathan White; Michael Kearney, Quinn Roux; John Muldoon (Capt.), Jake Heenan, Eoin McKeon.
Replacements: Sean Henry, Finlay Bealham, Rodney Ah You, George Naoupu, Willie Faloon, Kieran Marmion, Miah Nikora, Conor Finn.
NG Dragons: Lee Byrne (Capt.); Tom Prydie, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon, Aled Brew; Jason Tovey, Jonathan Evans; Boris Stankovich, Elliot Dee, Lloyd Fairbrother; Andrew Coombs, Rynard Landman; Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Andy Powell.
Replacements: T. Rhys Thomas, Owen Evans, Dan Way, Ian Gough, Taulupe Faletau, Dorian Jones, Geraint Rhys Jones, Barney Nightingale.
Glasgow v Leinster
Glasgow: Peter Murchie; Tommy Seymour, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Lee Jones; Peter Horne, Henry Pyrgos; Alex Allan, Fraser Brown, Euan Murray; Leone Nakarawa, Jonny Gray; Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Josh Strauss (Capt.).
Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Gordon Reid, Rossouw de Klerk, Tim Swinson, Adam Ashe, Niko Matawalu, Stuart Hogg, Sean Lamont.
Leinster: Zane Kirchner; Fergus McFadden, Brendan Macken, Noel Reid, Darragh Fanning; Jimmy Gopperth, Isaac Boss; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross; Ben Marshall, Mike McCarthy; Dominic Ryan, Shane Jennings, Sean O’Brien (Capt.).
Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Jack McGrath, Tadhg Furlong, Tom Denton, Kevin McLaughlin, Luke McGrath, Ian Madigan, Mick McGrath.
Zebre v Cardiff Blues
Zebre: Hendrik Daniller; Dion Berryman, Mirco Bergamasco, Gonzalo Garcia, Leonardo Sarto; Luciano Orquera, Brendon Leonard; Matias Aguero, Andrea Manici, Dario Chistolini; Quintin Geldenhuys (Capt.), George Biagi; Filippo Ferrarini, Andries Van Schalkwyk, Samuela Vunisa.
Replacements: Oliviero Fabiani, Andrea De Marchi, Luciano Leibson, Andries Ferreira, Filippo Cristiano, Guglielmo Palazzani, Kelly Haimona, Edoardo Padovani.
Cardiff Blues: Dan Fish; Alex Cuthbert, Cory Allen, Gavin Evans, Owen Jenkins; Rhys Patchell, Lloyd Williams; Sam Hobbs, Matthew Rees (Capt.), Adam Jones; Chris Dicomidis, Filo Paulo; Josh Turnbull, Sam Warburton, Manoa Vosawai.
Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Thomas Davies, Craig Mitchell, Macauley Cook, Josh Navidi, Lewis Jones, Gareth Davies, Dafydd Hewitt.