Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-06:00 PM

Highlights on Off The Ball


Healy is back as Munster and Ulster name teams for first match of 2021

Ulster and Munster have named their sides for their interpro encounter on Saturday, the first mat...

Ulster and Munster have named their sides for their interpro encounter on Saturday, the first match for both sides in the new decade.

Both teams ended 2020 with an unbeaten record in the new Guinness PRO14 season, both sitting at the top of their respective conferences.

Ulster are coming into the weekend off the back of a 32-19 victory over Connacht on the Sunday after Christmas, while Munster have had an extra week to train off their Christmas dinner, as their derby with Leinster was rescheduled due to COVID-19.

Ulster look to remain ahead of Leinster

Dan McFarland has made 11 changes ton the side that beat Connacht last week, with a number of regular starters returning to their starting positions.

Jacob Stockdale returns to assume the full-back role and will be joined on the wings by Ethan McIlroy and Matt Faddes.

Stuart McCloskey comes in to partner James Hume in midfield. Billy Burns and John Cooney return to make up the half-back pairing.

In the front row, Eric O’Sullivan and Marty Moore will pack down at loosehead and tighthead prop, with Rob Herring at hooker.

Sam Carter will captain the side from the second row, and will pair up with Kieran Treadwell, who maintains his place in the starting lineup.

Academy back-row, David McCann will make his first senior start for Ulster at openside flanker, and will be joined by Matty Rea at blindside and Nick Timoney at Number Eight.

Ulster Academy loosehead, Callum Reid could make his senior debut if called upon, and is named alongside Adam McBurney, Tom O’Toole and David O’Connor.

Reid’s Academy colleague, scrum-half Nathan Doak could also make his debut from the bench – he is named with Ian Madigan and last week’s debutant, Ben Moxham, in the back line reinforcements.

After the news broke last week that Marcell Coetzee will be returning to South Africa at the end of this season, the Springbok makes his return to the province in the forward replacements.

Momentum is with Munster

Johann van Graan has also made a number of changes for the interprovincial clash, with Niall Scannell and Liam Coombes making their first appearances of the season.

Academy out-half Ben Healy has successfully rehabbed the shoulder injury sustained against Harlequins to start in the number 10 jersey.

In the replacements there is a return for Dave Kilcoyne who is included in his first match-day squad since injuring his ankle against Leinster in August.

Shane Daly, who is the only player to retain his starting position from the Clermont game, makes the switch to full back for his second appearance of the season and joining him in the back three are wingers Coombes and Calvin Nash.

Rory Scannell and Dan Goggin form the centre partnership while Craig Casey joins Healy in the half back pairing.

It’s a new front row combination with Liam O’Connor, Niall Scannell and John Ryan starting together for the first time, and behind them are Fineen Wycherley and captain Billy Holland in the second row.

Completing the pack is a back row of Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete and Jack O’Sullivan.

Another young academy out-half, Jack Crowley, is in line to make his Munster debut if sprung from the bench.

Ulster Squad:

15. Jacob Stockdale

14. Matt Faddes

13. James Hume

12. Stuart McCloskey

11. Ethan McIlroy

10. Billy Burns

9. John Cooney

1. Eric O’Sullivan

2. Rob Herring

3. Marty Moore

4. Kieran Treadwell

5. Sam Carter, CAPTAIN

6. Matty Rea

7. David McCann

8. Nick Timoney


16. Adam McBurney

17. Callum Reid

18. Tom O’Toole

19. David O’Connor

20. Marcell Coetzee

21. Nathan Doak

22. Ian Madigan

23. Ben Moxham

Munster Squad:

15. Shane Daly

14. Calvin Nash

13. Dan Goggin

12. Rory Scannell

11. Liam Coombes

10. Ben Healy

9. Craig Casey

1. Liam O’Connor

2. Niall Scannell

3. John Ryan

4. Fineen Wycherley

5. Billy Holland, CAPTAIN

6. Jack O’Donoghue

7. Chris Cloete

8. Jack O’Sullivan


16. Rhys Marshall

17. Dave Kilcoyne

18. Roman Salanoa

19. Thomas Ahern

20. Tommy O’Donnell

21. Nick McCarthy

22. Jack Crowley

23. Darren Sweetnam

Team of Us. Everyone In.

Vodafone. The main sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team

Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OffTheBall's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.

Read more about

Adam McBurney Ben Moxham Billy Burns Billy Holland Callum Reid Chris Cloete Connacht Craig Casey; Liam O’Connor Dan Goggin Dan Mcfarland Darren Sweetnam Dave Kilcoyne David McCann David O'connor Eric O'Sullivan Ethan McIlroy Ian Madigan Jack Crowley Jack O'Sullivan Jack O’Donoghue Jacob Stockdale James Hume Johann Van Graan John Cooney John Ryan; Fineen Wycherley Kieran Treadwell Leinster Liam Coombes; Ben Healy Marcell Coetzee Marty Moore Matt Faddes Matty Rea Munster Nathan Doak Niall Scannell Nick McCarthy Nick Timoney Rhys Marshall Rob Herring Roman Salanoa Rory Scannell Sam Carter Shane Daly; Calvin Nash Stuart Mccloskey Thomas Ahern Tom O'toole Tommy O'Donnell Ulster