Everything you want to know

Two Irish counties are looking to maintain their winning start, while two more counties are hoping to break away from the target.

Like last week, the second round of the BKT United Rugby Championship of the season sees Leinster face Italian competition, while Monster heads to Wales.

Graham Rowntree’s side will be hoping to do better against the Dragons than they did against Cardiff a week ago, especially with more first-team players regular on the trip to Newport.

Leinster’s preparations for last week’s surprise win over Zepre have been disrupted Robbery of coach Leo Colin’s houseBut they look poised to take off on the ground tonight at RDS, as Ciarán Frawley is given a chance to impress at the first half in the first XV approaching full power.

Ulster enjoyed the biggest win for the Irish teams last Saturday, with an extra points win over Connacht, and Dan McFarland’s side are in Yannelli to face Scarletts, who shared the points in a two-leg tie with Ospreys A. Since a week.

If Konnacht wants to recover from that defeat, they will have to do so in style, with a grueling journey to champion Stormers in Stellenbosch, in what will be the South African side’s first game in defense of their title.


Stormers vs. Connacht (Saturday, 1.30 pm) and Dragons v Munster (Sunday, 3 pm) are both live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, while Leinster v Benetton (Friday, 7.35 pm) is broadcast on TG4, with Scarlets vs. Ulster (Saturday, 1 PM) Live on Premier Sport.


Saturday Sport and Sunday Sport results will be updated on RTÉ Radio 1 over the weekend.


RTE.ie/sport will have live scores and blogs all weekend with match reports and feedback from the stadium. All games live on URC TV.


Friday is expected in Dublin, but hopefully the worst of the rain will pass before Leinster and Benetton start the RDS. Scarletts and Ulster are likely to have perfect conditions in Yanele on Saturday, with temperatures expected around 15°C, while it will be slightly warmer in Stellenbosch, where Connacht faces storms. Newport on Sunday is also expected to hit good early season conditions, as they take on Monster and Dragons on a warm, sunny afternoon.

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For the second week in a row, there is an Italian rivalry with Leinster, and while they hope to repeat the result after their bonus points win last week over Zepri Parma, they will certainly need to do better, after stumbling in a 33-29 win.

While Leinster beat Benetton superbly in their last meeting in March, the Italians have given them a good game in recent seasons, losing only one of their last three visits to Dublin in all competitions.

Marco Portolami’s side starred in last week’s 33-11 win over the Glasgow Warriors in Treviso, but they will face a step in the line against Leinster, who welcome several Ireland internationals into their squad this week.

While Johnny Sexton, Tadge Furlong and Jamison Gibson Park continued to sit out, 11 of the starting line-up toured New Zealand with Ireland over the summer, and six began the crucial third Test.

Leo Cullen’s team last played at home in the URC semi-final against the Bulls in June, and you’ll have to go back to 2004 the last time they were defeated on their patch twice in a row at home. league.

Leinster: Jimmy O’Brien; Jordan Larmore, Gary Ringrose (captain), Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney; Ciaran Frawley, Luke McGrath; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Michael Alalalatoa; Jason Jenkins, James Ryan; Ryan Bird, Josh van der Veller, Kylan Doris

Alternatives: Ron Keeler, Ed Byrne, Sian Healy, Ross Moloney, Will Connors, Cormac Foley, Ross Byrne, Charlie Ngatay

Benetton: Ignacio Mendy, Mattia Bellini, Jacoin Riera, Marco Zanon, Onisi Rataf; Giacomo da Re, Sam Hidalgo Klein; Evan Nemer, Giacomo Nicoretta, Simon Ferrari; Niccolo Cannon, Scott Scrafton; Giovanni Bettinelli, Michele Lamaro (Captain), Just Alive

Alternatives: Gianmarco Luccese, Federico Zani, Filippo Alungi, Karl Wegener, Henry Time Stores, Manfredi Albanese, Tommaso Menoncello, Ratova Tavoira

Rule: Jacko Pepper (SARU)

Ulster were far from perfect in their first-day win over Connacht, but Dan MacFarland’s team put in a mature second-half performance to secure the Interpro win with ease.

Next, they travel to Wales to face the Scarletts, and are reunited with their former coach Dwayne Bell, who left Belfast to become head coach at Yanelli last summer.

The Ulstermen have not won the Parc y Scarlets at the URC since December 2012 despite their defeat there by one point in the Champions Cup in December 2018.

The last three meetings between the two sides have come in Belfast, and all three results have gone to the Irish side, most recently with a 27-15 win last January.

The Scarletts began the new season with a 23-23-liter draw at home to the Ospreys on Saturday but have not won the competition since beating the Dragons in Newport in April.

Team news: Released on Friday at 12 noon

Rule: AJ Jacobs (kiss)

With such a challenging first five games of the season, a quick start was vital for Connacht, but they were extremely disappointed in last week’s 36-10 defeat to Ulster in Belfast.

The fortunes of both sides have changed considerably since their last meeting last February. Connacht won only three matches in that span, while that defeat at Galway was the Stormers’ final blemish on their way to winning the title.

The South African side will be decisively missing some members of the Springbok side, with Damien Willemsey, Stephen Kitchov and Frans Malherbe absent.

However, Connacht will come close to full strength, with Bundee Aki, Finlay Bealham and Mack Hansen all allowed to return, although Jack Carty remains on the sidelines after wrist surgery in the summer.

The Stormers also had to give up their ground advantage, as the match was moved to Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch due to Justin Bieber’s concert at a traditional Cape Town stadium.

The 2016 champions were actually the only Irish team to win in South Africa last season, defeating the Lions 33-30, and have a good record in the country, winning four of their last six games in the southern hemisphere.

Team news: Released on Friday at 12 noon

Rule: Gianluca Genicci (FIR)

Graham Rowntree and his coaches have been keen to stress that their transformation will take time, but in the short term they will certainly hope to be better than they were last week.

Monster looked too slow, especially in defence, for last week’s 20-13 loss in Cardiff, and although they are away from home again, this week’s visit to the Dragons presents them with a great opportunity to regain their confidence.

County won a straight quarter-final against the Dragons, most recently hitting a 64-3 at Thomond Park in March.

Recent history may suggest that the house advantage doesn’t matter much to the Dragons, whose last win at the Rodney Parade came en route to the Rainbow Cup in April 2021.

The match will also see JJ Hanrahan face off against his home territory as Kerriman joined the Dragons from Claremont over the summer, taking two penalties in last week’s 44-6 defeat to Edinburgh.

Team news: Released on Friday at 12 noon

Rule: Sam Grove White (SRU)