URC Team Announcement R18

• Michele Lamaro will captain the Benetton side
• Cardiff Rugby academy full back Cameron Winnett will make his United Rugby Championship debut


• John Cooney, Tom O’Toole and Alan O’Connor all come into Ulster’s starting line-up
• Lukhanyo Am returns and is named in Cell C Sharks starting XV


• George North named in Ospreys starting XV at centre
• Cornal Hendricks and Harold Vorster are the centre pairing while David Kriel returns to the Vodacom Bulls side on the wing

Benetton v Cardiff Rugby
Stadio Monigo, Treviso – KO 18.00 IRE & UK / 19.00 ITA & SA
Referee: Eoghan Cross (IRFU, league debut)
AR 1: Andrew Cole (IRFU) AR 2: Alberto Favaro (FIR)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)
Live on: Mediaset, S4C, Premier Sports, SuperSport & URC TV

Benetton: Rhyno Smith, Edoardo Padovani, Ignacio Brex, Filippo Drago, Mattia Bellini, Tomas Albornoz, Callum Braley, Thomas Gallo, Giacomo Nicotera, Simone Ferrari, Irné Herbst, Federico Ruzza, Giovanni Pettinelli, Michele Lamaro (CAPT), Lorenzo Cannone
Replacements: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Ivan Nemer, Nahuel Tetaz, Niccolò Cannone, Toa Halafihi, Dewaldt Duvenage, Joaquin Riera, Leonardo Marin

Cardiff Rugby: Cam Winnett; Owen Lane, Mason Grady, Max Llewellyn, Theo Cabango; Rhys Priestland, Lloyd Williams; Rhys Carré, Kristian Dacey, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Matthew Screech, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Ellis Jenkins, James Ratti
Replacements: Efan Daniel, Corey Domachowski, Dillon Lewis, Teddy Williams, Josh Turnbull, Ellis Bevan, Ben Thomas, Jason Harries

Niccolo Cannone of Benetton was sanctioned by a Judicial Officer after he was sent off in the United Rugby Championship Round 16 game against Vodacom Bulls on Saturday, April 23. He has successfully taken part in the World Rugby HPC Coaching Intervention process, where a Player can undergo a coaching session to modify their technique or behaviours. This process is overseen by an independent expert coaching review group, which has reduced the ban by a further week. Niccolo Cannone is now free to play and can be selected for this weekend’s fixture against Cardiff Rugby.

Ulster v Cell C Sharks
Kingspan Stadium, Belfast – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA
Referee: Ben Blain (SRU, 20th league game)
AR 1: Peter Martin (IRFU) AR 2: Paul Haycock (IRFU)
TMO: Mike Adamson (SRU)
Live on: BBC NI, SuperSport, Premier Sports, TG4 & URC TV

Ulster: Mike Lowry, Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, John Cooney, Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (CAPT), Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen
Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Matty Rea, Nathan Doak, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle

Cell C Sharks: Aphelele Fassi, Werner Kok, Lukhanyo Am, Marius Louw, Makazole Mapimpi, Curwin Bosch, Jaden Hendrikse, Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit (CAPT), Ruben van Heerden, Reniel Hugo, Siya Kolisi, Henco Venter, Phepsi Buthelezi
Replacements: Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Khutha Mchunu, Hyron Andrews, Jeandre Labuschagne, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Grant Williams, Boeta Chamberlain

Ospreys v Vodacom Bulls
Swansea.com Stadium, Swansea – KO 20.10 IRE & UK / 21.10 ITA & SA
Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU, 22nd league game)
AR 1: Ben Whitehouse (WRU) AR 2: Jason Bessant (WRU)
TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)
Live on: BBC Wales, SuperSport, Premier Sports & URC TV

Ospreys: Michael Collins, Luke Morgan, George North, Owen Watkin, Keelan Giles, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Webb (CAPT), Gareth Thomas, Dewi Lake, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris
Replacements: Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Tom Botha, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate, Harri Morgan, Stephen Myler, Mat Protheroe

Vodacom Bulls: Canan Moodie, David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Zak Burger; Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar, Mornay Smith, Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Cyle Brink, Elrigh Louw
Replacements: Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Simphiwe Matanzima, Robert Hunt, Janko Swanepoel, Arno Botha; Embrose Papier, Juan Mostert, Stedman Gans

Ospreys Head Coach Toby Booth said: “The Bulls are very physical, very strong up front, a very collision and field position based side. They have a good kicking game and if you let their back three have it on their terms, in broken field, they are going to hurt you. We saw that against the Stormers, from our own personal experience, so we are expecting the same. The good thing for us is that we are at home, with a crowd, we haven’t had to travel and this is on our terms, in that respect. It is going to be a massive arm wrestle and a massive challenge, but one we are really looking forward to.”

Vodacom Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White said: “There is a lot to play for in this match, so we expect a huge battle against a motivated Ospreys side that will be looking to claim the Welsh Shield with a win over us. We expect the match to be a tough encounter, with Ospreys set to be, as always, competitive in the set pieces. We have seen what they are capable of and they will no doubt want to get a good result in front of their home crowd.“

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