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Van der Merwe's heroics silence the Twickenham masses

A try for the ages lights up a thrilling opening weekend of Six Nations rugby as Scotland, Ireland and France register away wins

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All this weekend's PRO14 team news

By Online Editors
(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Round two of the Guinness PRO14 takes place this weekend with Saturday matches set for Treviso, Swansea, Limerick and Newport, with the final match following on Sunday at Glasgow. This is after Dragons open the round against Zebre in Wales on Friday.  



BENETTON v LEINSTER (Stadio Monigo – KO 17:15 UK)

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Here’s the debut episode of RugbyPod Offload, the new podcast featuring Dylan Hartley, Jamie Roberts, Simon Zebo and Ryan Wilson
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Here’s the debut episode of RugbyPod Offload, the new podcast featuring Dylan Hartley, Jamie Roberts, Simon Zebo and Ryan Wilson

BENETTON: Jayden Hayward, Ratuva Tavuyara, Luca Morisi, Marco Zanon, Monty Ioane, Paolo Garbisi, Dewaldt Duvenage (capt); Cherif Traore, Hame Faiva, Tiziano Pasquali; Irne Herbst, Eli Snyman; Sebastian Negri, Abraham Steyn, Toa Halafihi. Reps: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Nicola Quaglio, Simone Ferrari, Niccolò Cannone, Federico Ruzza, Giovanni Pettinelli, Callum Braley, Edoardo Padovani.

– Ratuva Tavuyara, Marco Zanon and Monty Ioane named in an exciting backline to face champions.

LEINSTER: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose (capt), Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Ed Bryne, James Tracy, Michael Bent; Ryan Baird, James Ryan, Caelan Doris, Will Connors, Jack Conan. Reps: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Tom Clarkson, Ross Molony, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath, Harry Byrne, Jimmy O’Brien.


– Garry Ringrose named Leinster captain for the Italian PRO14 trip.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 66th competition game)

OSPREYS v ULSTER (Liberty Stadium – KO 17:15)

OSPREYS: Dan Evans; Mat Protheroe, Owen Watkin, Keiran Williams, Luke Morgan, Stephen Myler, Rhys Webb; Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Tom Botha, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Olly Cracknell, Justin Tipuric (capt), Morgan Morris. Reps: Dewi Lake, Rhodri Jones, Ma’afu Fia, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate, Harri Morgan, Josh Thomas, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler.


Alun Wyn Jones, Rhys Webb and Justin Tipuric all start for Ospreys.

ULSTER: Jacob Stockdale, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle, Ian Madigan, John Cooney; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (capt), Matthew Rea, Marcus Rea, Marcell Coetzee. Reps: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Louis Ludik, Sean Reidy.

– Ulster’s sibling pairing Marcus and Matty Rea start together for the first time with Ian Madigan and John Cooney named at half-back.

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU, 45th competition game)

MUNSTER v EDINBURGH (Thomond Park – KO 19:35)

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

Ben Healy starts for Munster after last-minute round one winner, Alex McHenry makes first start alongside Matt Gallagher in the backline.

EDINBURGH: Damien Hoyland; Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, George Taylor, Duhan van der Merwe; Jaco van der Walt, Nic Groom; Rory Sutherland, Stuart McInally (co-capt), WP Nel; Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist (co-capt); Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Nick Haining. Reps: Mike Willemse, Pierre Schoeman, Simon Berghan, Andrew Davidson, Mesulame Kunavula, Dan Nutton, Nathan Chamberlain, James Johnstone.

– Guinness players’ player of the season Duhan van der Merwe returns for Edinburgh.

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU, 185th competition game)

– Nigel Owens makes 185th appearance in PRO14 after he was named as the referee for the upcoming European Champions Cup final.

CARDIFF BLUES v CONNACHT (Rodney Parade – KO 19:35)

CARDIFF: Matthew Morgan; Josh Adams, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Hallam Amos; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Corey Domachowski, Kirby Myhill, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, Cory Hill (capt), Shane Lewis-Hughes, Olly Robinson, James Botham. Reps: Kristian Dacey, Rhys Carre, Dmitri Arhip, Ben Murphy, Alun Lawrence, Lewis Jones, Jason Tovey, Garyn Smith.

– Cardiff include six players named in the Wales squad this week while Olly Robinson returns to the back row. Jason Tovey needs just twelve points to reach 1,000 in the PRO14.

CONNACHT: John Porch, Peter Sullivan, Sammy Arnold, Bundee Aki, Alex Wooton, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham; Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux; Eoghan Masterson, Conor Oliver, Jarrad Butler (capt). Reps: Shane Delahunt, Jordan Duggan, Jack Aungier, Ultan Dillane, Paul Boyle, Stephen Kerins, Conor Fitzgerald, Tom Daly.

Sammy Arnold and Bundee Aki team up in midfield while Eoghan Masterson makes his 93rd appearance.

Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR, 2nd competition game)



GLASGOW: Huw Jones; Tommy Seymour, Nick Grigg, Stafford McDowall, Ratu Tagive, Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Oli Kebble, Fraser Brown (capt); Rob Harley, Scott Cummings; Ryan Wilson, Tom Gordon, Matt Fagerson. Reps: George Turner, Aki Seiuli, D’arcy Rae, Richie Gray, Chris Fusaro, George Horne, Pete Horne, Niko Matawalu.

Richie Gray to make 50th Glasgow appearance as Zander Fagerson returns for the Scots.

SCARLETS: Leigh Halfpenny; Tom Rogers, Jonathan Davies (capt), Johnny Williams, Steff Evans; Dan Jones, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Sam Lousi, Blade Thomson, Josh Macleod, Sione Kalamafoni. Reps: Ken Owens, Phil Price, Javan Sebastian, Lewis Rawlins, James Davies, Kieran Hardy, Rhys Patchell, Steff Hughes.

Samson Lee makes his 150th Scarlets appearance with 2017 Lions man of the series Jonathan Davies is named as captain.

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 36th competition game)



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