European Professional Club Rugby | Leinster to celebrate 2011, 2012 champions

Leinster Rugby will celebrate the 2011 and 2012 Heineken Cup-winning squads at their United Rugby Championship (URC) game against Glasgow Warriors at the RDS Arena on Saturday.

The players who claimed EPCR’s elite trophy with wins over Northampton Saints (33-22) and Ulster Rugby (42-14) in the respective finals will be presented to supporters at half-time.

Former Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt, who led the Irish province to those triumphs, will also be in attendance.

Current head coach Leo Cullen, who captained Leinster to the 2011 and 2012 titles, as well as their first in 2008, has brought in Rónan Kelleher for Saturday’s game, with the hooker making his first appearance since September as he returns from injury.

Full-back Jamie Osborne and lock Joe McCarthy come in as the other changes for the URC leaders after their previous league game almost a month ago, while fly-half Harry Byrne could feature for the first time this season from the bench.

Several other Heineken Champions Cup sides are involved in Saturday’s other URC games, with Pool A side Vodacom Bulls welcoming Pool B counterparts Ospreys.

Vodacom Bulls have made six changes from their most recent URC game, with lock Janko Swanepoel, flanker Niazaam Carr and No.8 Elrigh Louw brought into the pack while scrum-half Embrose Papier, wing Stravino Jacobs and center Lionel Mapoe come into the back line. .

There are three alterations for Ospreys, with Rhys Webb back at scrum-half to captain the side while prop Garyn Phillips is also called up along with flanker Will Hickey, who will make his first start in the URC.

Meanwhile, lock Tadhg Beirne will make his 50th appearance for Munster Rugby as they host provincial rivals Connacht Rugby.

Jean Kleyn also starts in the second row as he returns from injury, with scrum-half Craig Casey, fly-half Joey Carbery and wing Calvin Nash coming in after their international commitments with Ireland.

Hooker Stuart McInally, center James Lang, full-back Henry Immelman and scrum-half Ben Vellacott are all back after injury lay-offs as Edinburgh Rugby travel to Benetton Rugby.

Elsewhere, Sale Sharks entertain Bristol Bears in the Gallagher Premiership, and the Heineken Champions Cup contenders are set to see two players hit key milestones.

Sam James starts at center on his 200th appearance for the club while prop Joe Jones is poised to bring up his 50th from the bench. Hooker Akker van der Merwe and lock Cobus Wiese start on their returns from injury.

Four Heineken Champions Cup clubs feature in Saturday’s TOP 14 games, with Pool A’s Castres Olympique visiting Pool B’s Stade Rochelais, while Montpellier Hérault Rugby and Union Bordeaux-Bègles face EPCR Challenge Cup opposition – at home to Aviron Bayonnais and away at USAP respectively.

On Sunday, there are three mouth-watering all-Heineken Champions Cup encounters. Racing 92 entertain ASM Clermont Auvergne and Stade Toulouse are away at Lyon in the TOP 14, with Leicester Tigers hosting London Irish in the Premiership. In the URC, Cell C Sharks play Cardiff Rugby in Durban.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button