The teams for Friday night’s rescheduled Round 10 fixtures of the United Rugby Championship have been named with all details of match officials and broadcast information below.
TEAM NEWS HEADLINES
• Lock Gabriele Venditti who made his debut with Zebre Parma last season will make his first start of the season. Enrico Lucchin has also been released from the Italian squad to play
• Chris Smith set to make his first start at flyhalf for the Vodacom Bulls. While Ruan Mostert could make his URC debut as he is named among the replacements
• Rhys Ruddock will captain the side as he is set to make his 200th Leinster appearance
• Ruan Venter and Quan Horn have been named in the Emirates Lions matchday squad
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Zebre Parma v Vodacom Bulls
Stadio Lanfranchi, Parma – KO 17.30 IRE & UK / 18.30 ITA / 19.30 SA
Referee: Adam Jones (WRU, 15th league game)
AR 1: Federico Boraso (FIR) AR 2: Dario Merli (FIR)
TMO: Stefano Roscini (FIR)
Live on: Mediaset, SuperSport, Premier Sports & URC TV.
Zebre Parma: Junior Laloifi, Jacopo Trulla, Erich Cronjé, Timothy O’Malley, Asaeli Tuivuaka, Antonio Rizzi, Marcello Violi, Paolo Buonfiglio, Oliviero Fabiani (CAPT.), Eduardo Bello, Potu Junior Leavasa, Liam Mitchell, Maxime Mbandà, Iacopo Bianchi, Giovanni Licata
Replacements: Luca Bigi, Daniele Rimpelli, Ion Neculai, Gabriele Venditti, Luca Andreani, Guglielmo Palazzani, Enrico Lucchin, Giulio Bisegni
Vodacom Bulls: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Cornal Hendricks, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Embrose Papier; Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar, Jacques van Rooyen, Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Arno Botha, Elrigh Louw.
Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Simphiwe Matanzima, Robert Hunt, Janko Swanepoel, WJ Steenkamp; Keagan Johannes, Juan Mostert, Canan Moodie.
Vodacom Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White said: “We are looking forward to being back in action in the URC again following a week’s break after our previous match against the Cell C Sharks. We are expecting a tough challenge against Zebre Parma, in their own backyard at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi. We are looking forward to an entertaining game of rugby, with our aim, of course, being an effort to return home with another overseas win under our belts.”
Leinster v Emirates Lions
RDS Arena, Dublin – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA / 21.35 SA
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU, 28th competition game)
AR 1: Peter Martin (IRFU) AR 2: Stuart Gaffikin (IRFU)
TMO: Colin Stanley (IRFU)
Live on: TG4, SuperSport, Premier Sports & URC TV.
Leinster: Max O’Reilly, Tommy O’Brien, Jamie Osborne, Harry Byrne, Dave Kearney, Ross Byrne, Nick McCarthy, Ed Byrne, James Tracy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Devin Toner, Joe McCarthy, Josh Murphy, Dan Leavy, Rhys Ruddock (CAPT)
Replacements: Seán Cronin, Peter Dooley, Thomas Clarkson, Jack Dunne, Max Deegan, Luke McGrath, Adam Byrne, Scott Penny
Emirates Lions: Quan Horn, Stean Pienaar, Wandisile Simelane, Burger Odendaal, Edwill van der Merwe, Jordan Hendrikse, Morne van den Berg, Sti Sithole, Jaco Visagie, Carlu Sadie, PJ Steenkamp, Ruben Schoeman, Jaco Kriel (CAPT), Ruan Venter, Francke Horn
Replacements: PJ Botha, Morgan Naude, Ruan Dreyer, Lunga Ncube, Sibusiso Sangweni, Nico Steyn, Manuel Rass, Tiaan Swanepoel
Emirates Lions Head Coach Ivan van Rooyen said: “We’re excited to see how Ruan and Quan go tomorrow. It’s an extended opportunity for them to immerse themselves into our system and ultimately express their talent on the big stage. Touring is always a great opportunity for the guys to strengthen bonds and build on our character which bodes well for team culture and ultimately on-field synergy.”
“In terms of our approach tomorrow night, the catalyst for us will be the ability to adapt our style of play and our decision making at key moments during the game. The focus will be ensuring we get accurate line out ball to create a platform for us to launch our attack and hold onto possession for as long as we can. Leinster is a side that thrives on getting their hands on the ball.”