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All Your Irish PRO14 Team News Ahead Of Crucial Round Of Action

PRO14 Team News

Another round of Guinness PRO14 action takes places this weekend and with the regular season reaching the finishing line, the Irish provinces will hope to secure further wins to guarantee themselves a playoff spot. 

With just four rounds left after this weekend’s matches take place, every point from here on in will be crucial towards achieving knockout rugby at the end of the season.

All the Irish provinces are in action this weekend with Leinster first up on Friday night.

Below you will find the teams news for Leinster, Connacht, Munster and Ulster.

Leinster: 

The eastern province have shown superb form since their PRO14 loss to Munster at Thomond Park and they will guarantee top spot in Conference B and most importantly, a home semi-final, with a win over the Cheetahs on Friday evening.

Head coach Leo Cullen has made nine changes to the team which beat the Southern Kings last weekend.

Leinster: Dave Kearney, Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Conor O’Brien, Fergus McFadden, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park, Peter Dooley, Bryan Byrne, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Scott Fardy, Rhys Ruddock (captain), Max Deegan, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, Mick Kearney, Josh Murphy, Hugh O’Sullivan, Noel Reid, Barry Daly.

Connacht: 

Connacht were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat to the Glasgow Warriors in Scotstoun last weekend and they face into a crucial clash with the Ospreys on Saturday.

The Sportsground clash sees just three points separating the sides as Connacht lie in fourth and the Ospreys in fifth.

PRO14 Team News

Andy Friend’s side are knocked off third spot due to their inferior points difference compared to the Cardiff Blues and they will hope a win this weekend will put them into the top-three.

Connacht have named a strong side for this one.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, Stephen Fitzgerald, Tom Farrell, Peter Robb, Matt Healy, Kyle Godwin, Kieran Marmion, Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Finlay Bealham, Quinn Roux, Ultan Dillane, Eoin McKeon, Colby Fainga’a, Jarrad Butler (captain).

Replacements: Tom McCartney, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, James Cannon, Paul Boyle, Caolin Blade, Tom Daly, Cian Kelleher.

Munster: 

Munster are currently top of Conference A as they chase that elusive home semi-final which evaded them last season.

However, they are in a straight shoot out with the Glasgow Warriors with just one point separating the two teams.

Johann van Graan’s side face a tricky trip to Wales to take on the Scarlets but they know a win is necessary as to not allow the Warriors overtake them.

PRO14 Team News

Munster have made seven changes to the team which beat the Ospreys last weekend and Rory Scannell is in line to become the youngest player ever to reach 100 caps for the southern province having turned 25 in December.

Munster: Mike Haley; Ronan O’Mahony, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam; Bill Johnston, Alby Mathewson; Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (captain); Fineen Wycherley, Conor Oliver, Arno Botha.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Liam O’Connor, Stephen Archer, Darren O’Shea, Jack O’Donoghue, Neil Cronin, Tyler Bleyendaal, Jaco Taute.

Ulster: 

Ulster’s 54-7 win over Zebre in Belfast last weekend has seen them move to third place in Conference B and they travel to Rodney Parade to take on the Dragons knowing that another victory could see them leapfrog Benetton in second place.

Dan McFarland has made just three changes to the side which recorded that big win over Zebre and Sean Reidy is in line to make his 100th appearance for the northern province.

Ulster: Louis Ludik; Robert Baloucoune, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Rob Lyttle; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor (Capt), Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: Andrew Warwick, John Andrew, Wiehahn Herbst, Ian Nagle, Matthew Rea, David Shanahan, James Hume, Peter Nelson.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter