Team news for round 3 of United Rugby Championship

Leinster, Munster and Connacht have named their teams for this weekend's games in round 3 of the ...
Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12.42 8 Oct 2021

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Team news for round 3 of Unite...

Team news for round 3 of United Rugby Championship

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Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12.42 8 Oct 2021

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Leinster, Munster and Connacht have named their teams for this weekend's games in round 3 of the United Rugby Championship.

Luke McGrath will captain Leinster for the first time this season when Leo Cullen's side take on Zebre at the RDS on Saturday.

Jimmy O’Brien makes his first appearance of the season at full-back, with Adam Byrne on the right-wing and Jordan Larmour back from injury on the left.


Byrne is also back from a number of significant injuries and it is his first involvement with Leinster since December 2019.

Ciarán Frawley and Jamie Osborne form a new centre pairing, while McGrath is partnered by Harry Byrne who returns from a minor foot injury to start his first game of the season.

In the pack, Ed Byrne and Seán Cronin come in this week but it’s a third start in a row for new signing Michael Ala’alatoa.

Devin Toner is involved in a matchday 23 for the first time this campaign and starts in the second row alongside Ryan Baird.

In the back row, Dan Leavy starts his first game of the season, as does Scott Penny, with Rhys Ruddock retained from the starting 15 last week but switches from blindside flanker to No 8.

Leinster team to face Zebre:

(15-9) Jimmy O’Brien, Adam Byrne, Jamie Osborne, Ciarán Frawley, Jordan Larmour, Harry Byrne, Luke McGrath (C)

(1-8) Ed Byrne, Seán Cronin, Michael Ala’alatoa, Devin Toner, Ryan Baird, Dan Leavy, Scott Penny, Rhys Ruddock.

Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Peter Dooley, Cian Healy, Ross Molony, Max Deegan, Nick McCarthy, Johnny Sexton, Rob Russell.


Munster head coach Johann van Graan has made 11 changes for Sunday's trip to Wales to play Scarlets.

Jack O’Donoghue captains Munster and is one of four players retained from last week's win over the Stormers along with Calvin Nash, Shane Daly and Fineen Wycherley.

Matt Gallagher, Liam Coombes and Neil Cronin make their first appearances of the season in the backline.

Ben Healy, Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Stephen Archer, Thomas Ahern, Chris Cloete and Jack O’Sullivan make their first starts of the new campaign.

Gallagher starts at full-back as Nash and Daly keep their places on either flank.

Dan Goggin and Coombes partner up in the centres with Cronin and Healy in the half-backs.

Loughman, Barron and Archer pack down in the front row.

Ahern and Wycherley start in the engine room as captain O’Donoghue, Cloete and O’Sullivan complete the starting XV.

Kevin O’Byrne, Josh Wycherley, Jack Crowley, Jack Daly and Greencore Munster Rugby Academy duo Alex Kendellen and Paddy Patterson are all in line to make their season debuts off the bench.

Munster team to face Scarlets:

(15-9) Matt Gallagher; Calvin Nash, Liam Coombes, Dan Goggin, Shane Daly; Ben Healy, Neil Cronin;

(1-8) Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Stephen Archer; Thomas Ahern, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Chris Cloete, Jack O’Sullivan.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Josh Wycherley, John Ryan, RG Snyman, Alex Kendellen, Paddy Patterson, Jack Crowley, Jack Daly.


Matthew Burke, Paul Boyle and Ben O’Donnell all come into the Connacht starting team for Saturday’s meeting with the Dragons at the Sportsground.

It’s a first appearance of the season for O’Donnell, who is part of a back three with winger Mack Hansen and full-back Tiernan O’Halloran.

The remaining backs are unchanged for the third game in a row, with Kieran Marmion and Jack Carty at 9 and 10 respectively and Tom Daly and Tom Farrell named in the centre.

Burke starts in the front row with Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham, while locks Oisin Dowling and Ultan Dillane also start together for the third week in a row.

The side is completed by flankers Cian Prendergast and captain Jarrad Butler, with Boyle wearing the number 8 shirt.

Connacht team to face Dragons:

(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Ben O’Donnell, Tom Farrell, Tom Daly, Mack Hansen, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion.

(1-8) Matthew Burke, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Oisin Dowling, Ultan Dillane, Cian Prendergast, Jarrad Butler (C), Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Jordan Duggan, Jack Aungier, Leva Fifita, Conor Oliver, Caolin Blade, Conor Fitzgerald, Sammy Arnold.

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