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Irish provinces name their teams for bumper PRO14 action on Saturday

PRO14 teams

The teams are in.

Ulster, Leinster, Munster and Connacht have all named their teams for this weekend’s Guinness PRO14 action.

All four of the Irish provinces are in action on Saturday in what will be a bumper day for Irish rugby supporters.

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Ulster take on the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium (KO 5.15pm) and Dan McFarland has made two changes in the forwards as Alan O’Connor and Marcus Rea come into the pack with the latter making his first start for the northern province.

In the backs, Ian Madigan comes in at out-half while Matt Faddes comes onto the wing in what are the only two changes to the backs from last weekend’s win over Benetton.

PRO14 teams

Ulster: Jacob StockdaleMatt FaddesJames HumeStewart MooreRob LyttleIan MadiganJohn Cooney, Jack McGrathRob HerringMarty MooreAlan O’ConnorIain Henderson (Capt.Matthew ReaMarcus ReaMarcell Coetzee. 

Replacements: Adam McBurneyEric O’SullivanGareth MilasinovichKieran TreadwellGreg JonesDavid ShanahanLouis LudikSean Reidy. 

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Leinster travel to Italy to take on Benetton (KO 5.15pm) and head Leo Cullen has made two changes to his back line. Robbie Henshaw comes in at inside centre to partner captain Garry Ringrose while Ross Byrne will pull the strings at out-half.

Up front, James Tracy comes in for Ronan Kelleher at hooker while Ryan Baird comes in for Scott Fardy at lock to partner James Ryan. Jack Conan retains his spot at number eight while Caelan Doris and Will Connors come in at blindside and openside, respectively.

PRO14 teams

Leinster: Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ed Byrne, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Ryan Baird, James Ryan, Caelan Doris, Will Connors, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Seán Cronin, Cian Healy, Tom Clarkson, Ross Molony, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath, Harry Byrne, Jimmy O’Brien.

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Munster host Edinburgh at Thomond Park on Saturday (KO 7.35 pm) and head coach Johann van Graan has made seven changes to the team which beat Scarlets in the PRO14 in Wales last weekend.

The southern province have had a disrupted week as two senior players tested positive for COVID-19 which saw them cancel training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday.

In the backs, Ben Healy starts at out-half while there is a new centre partnership of Rory Scannell and Alex McHenry. The back-three sees a first start for Matt Gallagher on the wing.

Up front, Jeremy Loughman starts at loosehead and Fineen Wycherley comes into the second-row. Tommy O’Donnell makes his first start of the season at openside flanker.

Munster:  Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Alex McHenry, Rory Scannell, Matt Gallagher; Ben Healy, Craig Casey; Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Fineen Wycherley, Tadhg Beirne; Jack O’Donoghue, Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander (C).

Replacements:  Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Roman Salanoa, Gavin Coombes, John Hodnett, Conor Murray, Jack Crowley, Dan Goggin.

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Connacht will travel to Rodney Parade to take on the Cardiff Blues on Saturday (KO 7.35 pm). Head coach Andy Friend has made two changes to the team which claimed an opening day PRO14 win over the Glasgow Warriors last weekend.

Former Munster centre Sammy Arnold comes into the team to partner Bundee Aki while Eoghan Masterson comes into the side at blindside flanker.

Connacht: John Porch, Peter Sullivan, Sammy Arnold, Bundee Aki, Alex Wootton, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Conor Oliver, Jarrad Butler (57).

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Jordan Duggan Jack Aungier, Ultan Dillane, Paul Boyle, Stephen Kerins, Conor Fitzgerald, Tom Daly.

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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