Munster Rugby v Benetton Rugby Match Programme

MunsterRugbyMatchProgrammes

Guinness PRO14 Round 16 | Find out all you need to know ahead of Munster v Benetton.

Read what Forwards Coach Graham Rowntree and utility back Liam Coombes had to say in the build up to the game.

We have an interview with Ireland Women's international Anna Caplice on her successful rugby pathway from Mallow RFC.

We also caught up with Women’s Committee Chairperson Wendy Keenan recently to discuss the development of the female game in the province and her hopes for the future once on-pitch activity returns.

v BENETTON RUGBY | FRI 19 MAR 2021 | THOMOND PARK | 6PM

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

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Loved in Munster.

Followed the world over.

Always represented.

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© 2020 adidas AG


PRESIDENT’S WELCOME

Tonight, we welcome Kieran Crowley and his

Benetton team to Thomond Park for the final

round of the Guinness PRO14. Munster are

already in the final and undoubtedly this is a

game that all involved in will be fully focused

on and will take nothing for granted.

Our best wishes to Johann and all the squad

in tonight’s game and of course in the allimportant

final next weekend in Dublin.

Last weekend, as we were all watching the

Scarlets game from home, to see the 1000+

portraits and the 100 or so club and schools'

jerseys is a testament of who we are and what

we represent.

While our domestic game is still on hold, the

incredible work behind the scenes is ongoing.

This involves all the Chairpersons, Secretaries

and members of our Rugby, Senior clubs,

Junior Clubs, Women’s, Schools, Age Grade,

Youths, and Competitions committees. This

is in conjunction and with the full support of

all our professional staff, from our CEO to our

Head of Rugby Development, his team and

everyone involved in Munster Rugby. While

there are some competitions that may not

happen, at no stage was there ever a thought of

"let’s leave it until the start of next season." The

main focus is that we are primed and ready to

go when we are allowed to do so. This involves

a wide range of activities being put together

to cover all eventualities. To all involved in this

process, there is great credit due to the effort,

commitment and having the foresight to make

sure that going forward into the immediate

future, our players and volunteers will be fully

engaged with our schools and clubs.

The news of CJ Stander’s retirement will of

course come as a shock to everyone. A lot

has been said and written about CJ in the last

number of days. When CJ arrived here in 2012,

he immediately embraced the ‘Munster way’,

and I know I speak for all of us when I say that

the Munster Family in turn embraced CJ. One

of our recent Munster Presidents was asked

near the end of his term what was the highlight

of his year - he instantly replied that it was the

hour and 30 minutes he sat beside CJ on a flight

to an away game. That simply epitomizes CJ.

Our best wishes to CJ, his wife Jean-Marié and

daughter Everli in their next chapter.

Once again, our thanks to our main sponsor

Bank of Ireland, our kit supplier adidas and all

our sponsors for their continued support.

Seán McCullough

President Munster Branch IRFU

President: Sean McCullough | Vice President: Ger McNamara | Junior Vice President: Michael Carroll

Hon. Secretary: Muiris Mahon| Hon. Treasurer: Tom Kinirons

Chief Executive Officer: Dr. Ian Flanagan | Head Coach: Johann van Graan | Team Manager: Niall O’Donovan

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

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PRO14.RUGBY

YOUR GUINNESS

PRO14 HOME

LATEST NEWS, LIVE MATCH

CENTRES, STATS & MORE

VISIT NOW

WWW.PRO14.RUGBY

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GUINNESS PRO14 CAMPAIGN TO CONCLUDE IN

MARCH AHEAD OF NEW “RAINBOW CUP” WITH

SOUTH AFRICA’S TOP FOUR ‘SUPER’ TEAMS

The current Guinness PRO14 campaign will

end in March allowing South Africa’s four

‘Super’ teams and our existing clubs to

finish the season with a 16-team “Rainbow

Cup” competition ahead of the British &

Irish Lions tour.

After consulting with key PRO14 stakeholders, the Guinness

PRO14 Rainbow Cup was chosen as the best pathway to

finish up the current campaign and introduce South Africa’s

four ‘Super’ teams: the Vodacom Bulls; Emirates Lions; Cell

C Sharks and DHL Stormers. This decision also allows our

European-based sides to earn qualification for European

Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) tournaments in 2021/22 in

a fair and equitable manner.

Ahead of the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa,

the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will provide a groundbreaking

spectacle for fans who will see international star

players from north and south establish new rivalries in their

bid for the ultimate Test selection.

Right through until the last kick of the ball in the Rainbow

Cup in June, fans will be able to watch it all unfold with our

broadcast partners Premier Sports, eir Sport, S4C, TG4,

DAZN and Super Sport.

How it will Work

• The 2020/21 Guinness PRO14 campaign will finish after 16

rounds with the Conference winners facing each other in a

final in late March

• Qualification for EPCR tournaments in 2021/22 will be

decided by rankings after Round 16

• On April 17, 2021, the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will

kick-off and introduce the Vodacom Bulls, Emirates Lions,

Cell C Sharks and DHL Stormers and their World Cupwinning

Springboks

• The Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will consist of a pool

stage (two pools of eight teams) and a final between the

two pool winners

FINAL CHAPTER OF GUINNESS PRO14

fixture list will aim to ensure home and away in-conference

fixtures are completed and each team plays all of its

cross-conference matches also. Further clarification will be

available when fixtures are confirmed.

The scheduled dates for the conclusion of the 2020-21

Guinness PRO14 campaign are:

R12: February 20

R13: February 27

R14: March 6

R15: March 13

R16: March 20

Final: March 27

Once Round 16 has been completed, the top-ranked teams

from each conference will qualify for the 2021/22 Heineken

Champions Cup. Requirement for play-offs is under review.

GUINNESS PRO14 “RAINBOW CUP”

FORGING NEW RIVALRIES

With South Africa preparing to host their first British & Irish

Lions tour since 2009, the World Cup champions will see

their ‘Super’ teams – the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers

take on the very best that Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales

have to offer.

Players aiming to make the British & Irish Lions squad will

find no better trial environment to test themselves in, as

they go up against the likes of Siya Kolisi, Pieter Steph du

Toit (both DHL Stormers), Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom

Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions) and former Guinness

PRO14 top-try scorer Makazole Mapimipi (Cell C Sharks).

The Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will kick off on April 17

with two pools of 8 teams made up of two Irish, two South

African, two Welsh, one Italian and one Scottish club. Each

team will play one game against each pool opponent and

the sides that finish top of their pools will face off in a final

on June 19.

Across 57 matches, the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will

feature the best of the Springbok talent going toe-to-toe

with some of the British & Irish Lions’ biggest names – every

one of them keen to lay down a marker to their respective

selectors ahead of what will prove to an historic tour.

Rounds 12 to 16 will take place from February 20 and

conclude on March 20. A final will then take place at the

home venue of the highest-ranked team. This abbreviated

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER v BENETTON

ROUND 16 PREVIEW

The final round of the Guinness PRO14 takes place

this weekend but with several teams still having

games in hand, the battle for spots in Europe’s elite

competition may not be settled over the next few

days.

History will be made tonight in Thomond Park

when Hollie Davidson takes charge of the match

between Munster and Benetton. Joy Neville will

serve as Television Match Official, making this the

first time in top-tier men's professional club rugby

fixture that both the referee and TMO roles are

filled by female officials.

Munster are already in the final and wrap up the

Conference phase against Benetton, who were the

last Italian team to beat Munster in any competition

seven and a half years ago.

Hanrahan to give a much-changed Munster side an

18-16 victory at the end of January.

Munster extended their winning run in the PRO14

to five games with last Friday’s 28-10 victory over

Scarlets thanks to tries from Gavin Coombes,

Shane Daly, Niall Scannell and Kevin O’Byrne.

Benetton were in sight of a first victory of the PRO14

season on Sunday when they took an 11-point lead

approaching half-time, only to succumb to a 29-14

defeat against the Cardiff Blues.

Billy Holland is tackled

by Juan-Ignacio Brex

Their last two meetings have been settled by just

two points and it took a last-gasp drop goal from JJ

CONFERENCE B TABLE

POS TEAM PL W D L BP PTS

1 Munster Rugby 15 13 0 2 7 59

2 Connacht Rugby 15 8 0 7 11 43

3 Scarlets 15 7 0 8 6 34

4 Cardiff Blues 15 7 0 8 3 31

5 Edinburgh Rugby 13 5 0 8 4 24

6 Benetton Rugby 13 0 0 13 6 6

HEAD TO HEAD 15 3 0

Munster wins

Munster have not been defeated by an Italian

opponent in any competition since today’s

adversaries, Benetton, won 29-19 at Stadio

Monigo in September 2013.

Benetton’s most recent victory away at an

Irish Province was 17-15 against Leinster at

the RDS Arena in April 2018.

Munster have won their last eleven PRO14

clashes with Benetton and have never lost at

home to the Italian outfit.

MATCH FACTS

Benetton wins

Draws

• Gavin Coombes leads the way in Munster

with tries scored, picking up his 8th try in the

competition last weekend. Gavin also has the

most successful carries to date across the

tournament with 78.

Benetton’s Jayden Hayward lies in second

place in the ‘metres gained’ stats with 642,

just ahead of Mike Haley on 635.

Munster’s Chris Cloete has turned over more

ball than any other player in the tournament to

date with 14 turnovers.

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

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THE INSIDE

TRACK

GRAHAM ROWNTREE

On his reaction to CJ’s retirement

announcement earlier this week…

“What a loss. Gutted. So sorry to see him go.

Delighted he’s doing it on his terms. There’s

plenty of rugby for him to play before he does

it. What a shock to us all. Great bloke. Great

rugby player, but great bloke more importantly.

We’ll miss him around here. Literally some big

shoes to fill. It’s day in day out. Every session he

empties the tank. Every game he usually plays

80 minutes. He gives his all every session. He

is such a good guy around the place. Humble,

professional but warm as well. He loves a bit

of craic, as everyone does here. He’ll be a

big character to replace. I can’t speak highly

enough about the bloke. He’s one of the best

guys I’ve worked with.”

On losing two big characters after Billy

announced his retirement also recently…

“Big characters. Both guys I’ve grown to really

like having admired them play from afar. I got

to work with CJ on the last Lions Tour. Getting

to know Billy, and how he operates…they are

great for the young lads and will be tough to

replace. But what we are finding is that we are

developing some guys who are able to replace

them.”

On last weekend's win over Scarlets…

“I was delighted with the performance. We

targeted areas where we wanted to try and

establish ourselves, get a foothold in the game.

I was really pleased for Joey. He’s had his

frustrations for the last year, 18 months, and

also some of the young lads that are getting

game as well. I thought Alex Kendellen was

fantastic off the bench, he had to come on early

on. All round, job done last Friday night and

then we move on to this one.”

On how some of the younger players have

developed this season…

“They’ve done well. They are missing game

time. They are missing the AIL. With that in mind

we’ve had them training with us as much as

possible, every day. If you think about it, they’ve

been training with us on deck every day. They’re

doing live maul, lineouts, lineout competition,

live scrum. They are getting as much live

practice day in day out. That’s developed them.

What we have found is that when we put in the

youngsters, they are delivering. That pulls along

all the other youngsters as well. Now is the time

to really trust our squad and bring these guys in

and let them play.”

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LIAM COOMBES

On his season so far…

“With Covid, there has been limited

opportunities for fellas, we just had to adapt,

and I think we’ve adapted well all season.

Whatever chances I got, whatever chances

any young fella got, it was about taking them

and adding to the squad. I think we’ve done

it really well this season. Whenever someone

was missing, or someone was given a chance,

whoever stepped in has done the job and

performed well so it's been good on that side.

There’s been extra A games this season, and

that’s given us extra game time. Those games

have been very competitive. Being interpros,

there’s a bit of extra spice to them. They’ve

been very high-quality games. We’ve really

enjoyed them, tried to put our best foot forward

in the squad so we can push for selection in the

PRO14.”

On playing Benetton tonight…

“I think they’ve been quite unlucky this year.

They haven’t got a win yet this season but

there’s been a lot of small moments at the

end of games that have cost them. Against us

with the drop goal, against Connacht the last

play of the game with a try off a maul. Even in

recent years, the last time we played them in

the quarter-final, I think it was a JJ kick from

the half-way line that won it. We were lucky

to get through that one. They’ve had a lot of

disruptions this season with Covid and a lot of

players away in the Italian set up, so I think it’s

a really big challenge this weekend and we are

really focused on it.”

On being selected at outside centre earlier this

season…

“I really enjoyed it to be honest, got more hands

on the ball. Probably the biggest difference

between wing and centre is the physicality and

decision-making in defence. But I really enjoyed

the challenge and felt I did quite well. The more

game time I get there, the better I will get. Any

A games I get to play there in the centre will

only add to my skillset.”

On CJ’s announcement…

“It came as a shock to everyone. He will be

a massive loss to the squad in terms of

his talent, he’s an unbelievable player.

Probably one of the best ball carriers

in the squad and the country. He’s

an unbelievable leader in the group

as well. Since I came into the setup,

he’s been a senior player and really

drives people on. He will be missed.

We are lucky we have him for the last

few months of the season. I’m sure he will want

to win a trophy as a send-off. So there are no

goodbyes yet.”

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER IN THE

COMMUNITY

Irish Heart Foundation

ambassador Shane Daly

Jack Daly, Cian Hurley, Eoghan Clarke and Keynan Knox

commit to the Freezbrury Challenge for Pieta House

Kevin O’Byrne an advocate for

Jigsaw – The National Centre for Youth Mental Health

Keynan Knox, Cian Hurley, Jack Daly and

Eoghan Clarke in the River Shannon

Despite the current restrictions Munster players

are continuing to show their support for well

deserving charities and much needed services

during this time.

While following all the government measures

the players are supporting charity efforts

within the guidelines and using their online

platforms to raise awareness and funding for

vital resources.

Keynan Knox, Jack Daly, Eoghan Clarke and

Cian Hurley put their recovery time to good use

when taking part in the recent ‘Freezbruary’

campaign in support of Pieta House. For the

month of February, the quartet committed to

the endurance challenge building up their time

spent in the cold water of the River Shannon.

Several players joined at different stages, but it

was Knox, Daly, Clarke and Hurley who showed

great resilience to complete the daily challenge

in support of Pieta House while raising vital

funds.

Kevin O’Byrne recently linked up with with

Jigsaw – The National Centre for Youth Mental

Health as an advocate. O’Byrne got straight

down to business by supporting the Jigsaw

challenge and he too recruited his teammates

when targeting the 1200km activity goal over

five days.

Neil Cronin, RG Snyman, Calvin Nash and Rhys

Marshall helped Kevin with a mix of activities

including daily walks, runs and bike time in the

gym to complete the challenge while raising

awareness for Jigsaw’s essential services.

Last month also saw the Irish Heart Foundation

lead with their Valentine’s Day campaign and

Shane Daly announced his new ambassador

role with the well-known charity.

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK 15


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Tadhg Beirne in action against

Scotland last weekend

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY

ROUND UP

Ireland’s 24-27 win over Scotland last Sunday was

their second win of the Six Nations Championship,

the result seeing them climbing to second place

in the table with one game to play. France and

Scotland have a game in hand due to their clash

being postponed.

For the second game in row, Munster’s Tadhg

Beirne picked up the Guinness Six Nations

Player of the Match award for his outstanding

performance, which included scoring Ireland's

third try early in the second half – his second of

the tournament. The game also saw CJ Stander,

who announced he will retire from rugby at the

end of the season earlier this week, earn his

50th cap for Ireland.

Keith Earls was surely also in contention for the

Player of the Match award for his impressive

performance on the wing, with Dave Kilcoyne

also playing his part off the bench.

CJ Stander continues to lead the tournament

stats with 64 carries while Tadhg Beirne’s 7

turnovers puts him in joint first place with his

teammate Iain Henderson.

Ireland play England tomorrow in Dublin in their

last game of the tournament at 4.45pm.

CJ Stander and

Keith Earls after

the game against

Scotland last

Sunday

POS TEAM PL W D L PF PA DIFF TF TA TB LB PTS

1 Wales 4 4 0 0 134 71 63 17 7 3 0 19

2 Ireland 4 2 0 2 104 70 34 10 8 1 2 11

3 France 3 2 0 1 85 46 39 11 4 1 1 10

4 England 4 2 0 2 94 89 5 10 9 1 1 10

5 Scotland 3 1 0 2 59 58 1 7 6 0 2 6

6 Italy 4 0 0 4 45 187 -142 5 26 0 0 0

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

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THE LOWDOWN

THE FORM GUIDE

Benetton may lie in 6th position in Conference

B and not yet registered a win this season, but

that doesn’t quite tell the full story, which has

seen the Italian side come tantalisingly close

on a number of occasions and lose by just the

narrowest of margins. In November, Ospreys

won by two points at the Liberty Stadium. In

January, Munster got the edge over Benetton

also by two points to take the win, while at

the end of February, Connacht scraped a 17-

19 win over Benetton with a dramatic last

minute score by Bundee Aki snatching the

win. In fact, Benetton have picked up six losing

bonus points in thirteen games. With 27 tries

in the tournament, they’ve touched down more

times than Cardiff Blues, Edinburgh and Zebre

this season. With 43 tries scored against them,

they’ve leaked less tries than Dragons and Zebre

and just two more than Glasgow Warriors. Last

weekend they played Cardiff Blues and despite

being ahead 14-10 at half-time, a second half

surge from the Welsh side saw Benetton lose

14-29 at home.

THE COACHING TICKET

Former All Black Kieran Crowley arrived in

Treviso in 2016, having led previously at

Taranaki from 1998-2007, and coaching the

New Zealand U19 team to World Championship

success in 2007. He became head coach of

Canada in 2008, taking them to two Rugby

World Cups. Benetton Rugby reached the

Guinness PRO14 quarter-finals for the first time

in the club's history in 2019, running Munster

close in that game. He also won the PRO14

‘Coach of the Year’ award in 2019, the first coach

of an Italian franchise to win this accolade. It

was announced in January that Crowley is set

to leave Benetton at the end of this season.

His backroom team includes former Italy and

Gloucester lock Marco Bortolami as lineout/

forwards coach, South African Marius Goosen

as defence coach, who also has a dual role

with the Italian national side, and former Italy

internationals Fabio Ongaro as forwards/scrum

coach and backs coach Ezio Galon.

In the European Challenge Cup, Benetton

defeated Stade Francais 20-44 in Paris in

Round 1, scoring seven tries in the process.

While their second round game against Agen

was cancelled, they will get their chance to face

the French side in the upcoming 'Round of 16'

in early April.

Italy coach Franco Smith included fifteen

Benetton Rugby players in his Six Nations squad

which was announced in January, including

Marco Riccioni, Cherif Traore, Gianmarco

Lucchesi, Niccolò Cannone, Marco Lazzaroni,

Michele Lamaro, Sebastian Negri, Federico

Ruzza, Callum Braley, Tommaso Allan, Paolo

Garbisi, Juan Ignacio Brex, Monty Ioane, Luca

Sperandio and Marco Zanon.

ONE TO WATCH

Position: Utility Back

Age: 34

Born: Hawera, New Zealand

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 90kg

2020/21 Appearances: 12

Try assists: 4

Metres gained: 642

Carries: 97

Offloads:14

Tackles: 31

Honours: Italy

(26 caps)

JAYDEN HAYWARD

*current season stats –

Guinness PRO14

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

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STEPHEN ARCHER

Prop

29.01.88

H: 1.88m

W: 120.91kg

Hons: Ire (2 caps)

Hooker

06.08.99

H:1.83m

W: 98kg

Hons: Ire U20

DIARMUID BARRON

TADHG BEIRNE

Lock / Back Row

08.01.92

H: 1.98 m

W: 113.18 kg

Hons: Ire (21 caps)

Flanker

15.02.91

H: 1.76 m

W: 98 kg

Hons: ~

CHRIS CLOETE

Back Row

11.12.1997

H: 1.98m

W: 110kg

Hons: Ire U20

GAVIN COOMBES

JAMES CRONIN

Prop

23.11.90

H: 1.80 m

W: 113 kg

Hons: Ire (3 caps)

Lock / Back Row

03.08.85

H: 1.91 m

W: 111 kg

Hons: Ire (1 cap)

BILLY HOLLAND

DAVE KILCOYNE

Prop

14.12.88

H: 1.83 m

W: 112 kg

Hons: Ire (42 caps)

JEAN KLEYN

Lock

26.08.93

H: 2.03 m

W: 125 kg

Hons: Ire (5 caps)

Prop

06.04.99

H: 1.85m

W: 115kg

Hons: ~

KEYNAN KNOX

Prop

22.07.95

H: 1.85 m

W: 120 kg

Hons: Ire U20

JEREMY LOUGHMAN

Hooker

12.10.92

H: 1.84 m

W: 108 kg

Hons: NZ U20

RHYS MARSHALL

Hooker

16.04.91

H: 1.80 m

W: 107 kg

Hons: Ire U19

KEVIN O’BYRNE

Prop

13.07.95

H: 1.78 m

W: 110 kg

Hons: Ire U20

LIAM O’CONNOR

TOMMY O’DONNELL

Back Row

21.05.87

H: 1.85 m

W: 107 kg

Hons: Ire (12 caps)

JACK O’DONOGHUE

Back Row

08.02.94

H: 1.91 m

W: 107 kg

Hons: Ire (2 caps)

PETER O’MAHONY

Back Row

17.09.89

H: 1.91 m

W: 106 kg

Hons: Ire (74 caps)

Back Row

01.10.98

H: 1.88m

W: 100kg

Hons: Ire U20

JACK O’SULLIVAN

JOHN RYAN

Prop

02.08.88

H: 1.83 m

W: 117 kg

Hons: Ire (23 caps)

Prop

28.10.97

H:1.83m

W: 123.18kg

Hons: USA U20

ROMAN SALANOA

NIALL SCANNELL

Hooker

08.04.92

H: 1.85 m

W: 109 kg

Hons: Ire (20 caps)

RG SNYMAN

Lock

29.01.95

H: 2.06 m

W: 116 kg

Hons: SA (23 caps)

CJ STANDER

Back Row

05.04.90

H: 1.85 m

W: 114 kg

Hons: Ire (50 caps)

Lock

11.12.97

H:1.93 m

W: 111.82 kg

Hons: Ire U20

FINEEN WYCHERLEY

FORWARDS

Munster Rugby Squad - 2020/21 Season

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JOEY CARBERY

Fly Half

01.11.95

H: 1.83 m

W: 85kg

Hons: Ire (22 caps)

Scrum Half

19.04.99

H: 1.65 m

W: 75kg

Hons: Ire (1 cap)

CRAIG CASEY

ANDREW CONWAY

Full Back / Wing

11.07.91

H: 1.80 m

W: 89 kg

Hons: Ire (24 caps)

LIAM COOMBES

Full Back / Wing

01.05.97

H: 1.91m

W: 89 kg

Hons: Ire U20

Scrum Half

08.12.92

H: 1.73 m

W: 83 kg

Hons: Ire Clubs

NEIL CRONIN

Wing / Centre

19.12.96

H: 1.91 m

W: 91 kg

Hons: Ire (1 cap)

SHANE DALY

DAMIAN DE ALLENDE

Centre

25/11/1991

H: 1.91 m

W: 105 kg

Hons: SA (47 caps)

KEITH EARLS

Universal Back

02.10.87

H: 1.78 m

W: 90 kg

Hons: Ire (92 caps)

CHRIS FARRELL

Centre

16.03.93

H: 1.93 m

W: 110 kg

Hons: Ire (14 caps)

Full Back

26.10.96

H:1.85m

W: 95 kg

Hons: Eng U20

MATT GALLAGHER

Centre

10.12.94

H: 1.85 m

W: 100 kg

Hons: Ire U20

DAN GOGGIN

Full Back

28.06.94

H: 1.91 m

W: 93 kg

Hons: Ire (1 cap)

MIKE HALEY

RORY SCANNELL

CALVIN NASH

CONOR MURRAY

ALEX MCHENRY

NICK MCCARTHY

JJ HANRAHAN

Fly Half / Centre

27.07.92

H: 1.83 m

W: 93 kg

Hons: Emerging Ireland

Scrum Half

25.03.95

H: 1.8m

W: 84 kg

Hons: Ire U20

Centre

07.10.97

H: 1.88m

W: 95kg

Hons: Ire U20

Scrum Half

20.04.89

H: 1.88 m

W: 94 kg

Hons: Ire (88 caps)

Wing

08.08.97

H: 1.78 m

W: 90 kg

Hons: Ire U20

Centre

22.12.93

H: 1.80 m

W: 98 kg

Hons: Ire (3 caps)

Wing

05.05.93

H: 1.85 m

W: 95 kg

Hons: Ire (3 caps)

DARREN SWEETNAM

BACKS

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

23


MUNSTER RUGBY

STARTING XV

Liam O'Connor Diarmuid Barron Keynan Knox Cian Hurley Thomas Ahern

Jack

O'Donoghue (C)

Chris Cloete

Jack O'Sullivan

Paddy Patterson

JJ Hanrahan

Liam Coombes

Rory Scannell

Alex McHenry

Andrew Conway

Jake Flannery

#MUNvBEN

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Replacements

16. Rhys Marshall 17. Jeremy Loughman 18. Roman Salanoa 19. Jack Daly

20. Tommy O'Donnell 21. Nick McCarthy 22. Ben Healy 23. Matt Gallagher

24 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


BENETTON RUGBY

STARTING XV

Nicola Quaglio

Tomas Baravalle

Filippo Alongi

Irné Herbst

Eli Colin Snyman

Alberto Sgarbi

Manuel Zuliani

Giovanni

Pettinelli

Dewaldt

Duvenage (C)

Tommaso Allan

Angelo Esposito

Luca Morisi

Joaquin Riera

Iliesa Ratuva

Tavuyara

Jayden Hayward

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Hollie Davidson (SRU)

AR1: Frank Murphy (IRFU)

AR2: Rob O’Sullivan (IRFU)

TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)

Replacements

16. Corniel Els 17. Thomas Gallo 18. Tiziano Pasquali 19. Nicola Piantella

20. Marco Barbini 21. Luca Petrozzi 22. Tommaso Benvenuti 23. Leonardo Sarto

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

25


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MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

27


“THERE’S A PLACE

FOR EVERYONE”

Munster Rugby caught up with Women’s

Committee Chairperson Wendy Keenan

recently to discuss the development of the

female game in the province and her hopes for

the future once on-pitch activity returns.

With the domestic game on hold for a significant

portion of the last 12 months, Keenan admits

there is disappointment that some of their

exciting plans were put on hold but the former

Munster player admits she is excited for when

rugby does return considering the growth of

the women’s game in Munster, particularly at

underage and Minis level.

“There’s a place for everyone,” Keenan says

about the inclusivity of rugby in the province.

“What’s important is that we promote

participation and engagement with the group at

all levels. It doesn’t have to be at a competitive

level. Some girls just want to play for the

camaraderie, that aspect of it. That’s important

that we take that into consideration as well as

a committee and we provide opportunities for

girls to just play rugby.

“They can attend blitz days and we often

use Barbarians style blitz days. That’s been

hugely successful, especially around the

development of the adult game. In 2019 we

did those development days and they were

hugely popular. It’s definitely an aspect that

needs to be promoted and it’s great to see,

while traditionally the Minis would be a mix of

boys and girls, we’re seeing lots of girls teams,

female-only Minis teams now coming through

in Munster.

That just shows the growth of the game. That’s

something as a committee that we have to look

at and be cognisant of the fact because that will

translate into even more increasing numbers at

U14s which brings logistical issues when you’re

organising a league but it is wonderful to see.”

Although there is no on-pitch activity currently

taking place, there is plenty of work going on

behind the scenes in the female game.

With the Regional Development Squads, there

are 80 players undertaking weekly individual

skills and S&C programmes from home. As part

of this, there are weekly online fitness classes in

addition to fun-based skills and S&C challenges.

Aligned with this, there are 20 coaches involved

in the female game who have been invited to

take part in the recently established Munster

Women’s Rugby Coach Development Pathway.

At club level, online workshops have taken

place which promote home player development

programmes that have been provided by the

Rugby Development Department. In addition to

this, the #MoveWithMunster campaign, which

includes demonstrations from Ciara Griffin, Enya

Breen and Eimear Considine, provides young

players with fun animal movement challenges

they can do from home.

A Munster Rugby Women Development

webinar series also took place before

Christmas which focussed on Mini and agegrade

coaches involved in the women’s game

28 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


and U16 and U18 age-grade coaches as part

of the scrum and lineout trial introduction.

Further webinars as part of this series will be

launched in the coming weeks.

Keenan says that with such growth in the

women’s and girls game in the province, it’s

hugely important to remain engaged and provide

opportunities for players during these times

when no on-pitch activity can take place.

“We have to recognise that girls’

rugby is one of the

fastest-growing sports in Ireland."

“We have to recognise that girls’ rugby is one

of the fastest-growing sports in Ireland. That’s

important for us to take that into consideration

because we have to provide opportunities during

these COVID times for not only skill development

but also physical development in terms of S&C.

“There’s a wonderful programme been driven

by the development office in relation to girls

engaging online with those programmes and

followed up with support from their club coaches.

“The Live sessions on a Wednesday here are

very well engaged and there’s a lot of fun being

had behind the scenes. Those girls are recording

some of the programmes they’re doing and

feeding those back to get feedback on them.

“It has been really positive in terms of

engagement for what’s going on at the moment.

It’s really important for us to look at how we are

able to engage with the clubs and get everything

back up and running.”

Keenan highlighted the importance of

providing opportunities to young women to

play on the big stage.

“Last year we played the U18, U14 final in

Independent Park along with the U18 league

final. It was the day of a Six Nations match,

it was on Saturday but it was an opportunity

for our girls to play in Independent Park and I

wasn’t going to deny them an opportunity to

play in the stadium.

“After the match, I was down among the parents

and a gentleman came over to talk to me after

the match. He put everything in context for

me. He said he was sitting at home with his

daughter the night before who had been playing

scrumhalf actually for the winning team that

day. She was sitting between her two brothers

who player U18 and U20 rugby with their club.

“They were watching the U20 international

in Independent Park and 15 minutes into the

match, his daughter said, “I’ll be playing on

that pitch tomorrow.” It only resonated with

the family that she was going to be playing

on a pitch that was being hosted for an

international match. I think that’s special. That

we provide the girls with those opportunities

and give them the experience to be able to

play in the big stadiums.”

Wendy Keenan with Emma Daly and

Jessica Griffin of Bruff RFC

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

29


Visit eirsport.ie to subscribe

30 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


VIRTUAL MUNSTER MASCOTS

SARAN O’NEILL

Age: 7

School: Barefield NS, Ennis, Co. Clare

Hobbies: Art, rugby, hurling, cycling, running

Favourite player: Andrew Conway

DAITHI KELLY

Age: 8

School: St. Senan’s NS, Shannon, Co. Clare

Hobbies: Rugby, Gaelic football, Lego and

going to matches in Thomond Park

Favourite players: Conor Murray &

Craig Casey

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

31


CAPLICE

REMEMBERS HER ROOTS

Mallow woman Anna Caplice has her eyes firmly set on the start of the 2021 Women’s Six

Nations next month.

With the growth of women’s rugby continuing

to rise globally, the sport is unique in that it

offers an opportunity to travel and experience

a different lifestyle. The desire to challenge

oneself in a new environment is what has led to

Caplice to line out for London-based Harlequins

alongside her Ireland teammate and fellow

North Cork woman Leah Lyons.

Caplice didn’t take up rugby until the relatively

late age of 17 when the creation of a women’s

team in the north Cork town grabbed her

attention.

“There was a very successful well-known rugby

club in Mallow for a long time, no girls section

at all. I always thought I would have to wait until

I got to University to play but yeah, I was 17,

it would have been my fifth year in school and

had two more years in Mallow.

“They started an underage girl’s teams and

I never looked back. I played loads of other

sports in Mallow. Once I started playing rugby,

all my energy went into that. So grateful to have

those couple of years of underage rugby. To be

able to play for my hometown in Mallow.”

As Caplice recalls her fledgling years in the

sport, there’s one name which keeps cropping

up and that’s Mervyn Shorten. As the backrow

explains, Shorten played a pivotal role in

developing girls and women’s rugby in Mallow.

He had such an impact that when Caplice was

selected in the 2017 Rugby World Cup squad, it

was Mervyn she immediately wanted to thank.

“My first coach was Mervyn Shorten and he

gave loads of his time and energy to Mallow

Rugby. And then when the girls started, he was

just always there for us and put his heart and

soul into us and our team. There are so many

32 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


characters above in Mallow and every club in

Munster will have them, but Mervyn was our

number one man to get the show going for our

girls’ rugby down in Mallow. It’s a real credit to

him to have so many girls that went on to play

for Munster, even at underage level.

“When we were waiting for the notification for

selection for the World Cup in 2017. It was really

tense, and we knew that there was only so many

places and some people wouldn’t get to go.

It was a really tough afternoon waiting

for the email and the email came and

you’re looking for the first word,

‘Congratulations, you have been

selected.’ I didn’t know what to do

with myself, I knew I was very lucky

to be selected and I was overjoyed

but I didn’t know what to do.

“So, I picked up the keys of my house,

I ran out the door and I went down to

SuperValu. I picked up one card and I

wrote it to Mervyn just to say that I’ve

been selected for the World Cup and

it’s all thanks to you. That was my initial

reaction when I was selected for the World

Cup.

“It all comes back to the volunteer.”

Nailing down of the Six Nations fixtures has

been a huge boost for the women’s game, and

Caplice is relishing the return to action.

“I actually can’t describe how it feels to get

those dates written down,” Caplice admits.

“Anything can change at any moment, so we’re

prepared for that too. To keep the wheel turning

the whole time, to have worked hard all season

and even when things were pulled from under

our feet back in December when the Rugby

World Cup qualifiers weren’t going to go ahead,

to keep the wheel turning, to keep training and

to keep on top of things, has really paid off.”

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

33


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MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

35


RUGBY DEVELOPMENT NEWS

NEW INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT FEMALE REFEREES

INTERESTED

IN BECOMING A

REFEREE?

A joint venture between the Munster Rugby

Women’s Development Department, the

Women’s Committee and the Munster

Association of Referees (MAR) sees the

establishment of a new initiative aimed at

enhancing the integration and development of

Munster-based female referees.

The Munster Rugby Female Referee Support

Structure will contribute to the overall holistic

approach to the development of women’s

rugby in Munster.

The implementation of this new initiative

is in response to the need for more female

referees and match officials within the sport

in the province.

Working closely with the MAR, it is hoped that

the new Female Referee Support Structure will

further develop the numbers and the quality of

female referees.

The new support structure, which will be run

in conjunction with the current MAR pathway

which is currently in place for all referees,

will consist of targeted recruitment, specific

education strategies, mentoring, femaleonly

referee courses and strength and

conditioning work.

Chair of Management with the MAR, Adrienne

Patterson commented:

“Working with the Women’s Committee, it was

recognised that there are very few women

in refereeing. It’s very much still a maledominated

area of the sport and while there is a

lot of women playing rugby, and a lot of women

becoming coaches, we’re not seeing the same

level of interest in refereeing.

“So in order to encourage women into

refereeing, we felt it would be important to have

a support structure there to assist them in the

development as they become a referee.”

For anyone who would like to register their

interest, please contact: Women’s Development

Officer Ken Imbusch at kenimbusch@

munsterrugby.ie or IRFU Referee Development

Manager for Munster Chris Harrington at chris.

harrington@irfu.ie.

36 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


LIFESTYLE, HEALTH & WELL-BEING WEBINAR

Rugby Development Officer Eugene McCarthy

commented:

“Education surrounding the areas of health

and well-being are crucial to the development

of young players in addition to the tactical and

technical aspects. We are delighted to have

been able to offer this opportunity for those

in the province to hear from leaders in their

respective fields.”

The Rugby Development Department held a

Lifestyle, Health and Well-Being Webinar on

Monday last.

The awareness programme on lifestyle, health

and well-being was aimed at 15 to 18-year-olds

specifically.

Monday’s webinar featured Rory Doody, the

HSE lead on mental health engagement for

Cork and Kerry, who presented on well-being

while performance coach and club community

rugby officer Sana Govender focused on goal

setting and building good habits.

The first webinar, which took place on Monday,

March 8, featured coach and player development

officer Owen Mullowney while Denis Corridan,

Luke Guerin and Kathy O’Sullivan also featured

with a focus on the areas of Nutrition, Athletic

Development and Rest & Recovery.

Mallow native and Ireland international 7s

player Emily Lane also took part in a Q&A with

attendees as The Munster Rugby Development

Department have designed a weekly individual

training programme aimed at players U13 and

up (including adults) during the current Level 5

restrictions.

Munster senior men’s player Kevin O’Byrne

also hosted a Q&A session on the night.

A weekly plan will be shared over the coming

weeks to help support players and assist in

keeping them active. This plan is most suitable

for those involved in the 15-a-side game.

LIFESTYLE, HEALTH & WELL-BEING WEBINAR

The Munster Rugby Development Department

have designed a weekly individual training

programme aimed at players U13 and up

(including adults) during the current Level 5

restrictions.

A weekly plan will be shared over the coming

weeks to help support players and assist in

keeping them active. This plan is most suitable

for those involved in the 15-a-side game.

Last week, the Week 9 edition of the Home Skills

and Conditioning Programme was released,

focusing on ball control and catch-pass skills in

addition to some conditioning.

Please ensure you take all precautions and put

your safety first if carrying out any of these

exercises at home. Please notify a parent or

guardian if completing these physical contact

exercises at home.

Ball Control & Catch-Pass Skills

Conditioning

Click here for content to keep the Minis and

Primary School aged children active during the

current lockdown.

Please visit the Coaching Children Playlist (U7-

U12) on our YouTube channel (subscribe here)

for previous videos and content from the last

12 months.

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

37


STAND UP

AND FIGHT

Cara O'Sullivan

38 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


MUNSTER RUGBY

SUPPORTERS CLUB

News

Our Junior MRSC members have been sending

in letters of support to the players over the last

few weeks. For tonight’s game, we feature some

of the fantastic letters sent to Joey Carbery. Keep

an eye on the MRSC social accounts as we will

be featuring more of these great letters from our

members in the coming weeks.

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

39


40 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


GET INVOLVED

FOLLOW

ALL THE

ACTION

@PRO14Official

@PRO14Official

@PRO14Official

@PRO14Rugby

@PRO14Rugby

@PRO14Rugby

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

41


42 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE

1


0Age: 25

Born: Auckland, New Zealand

Position: Flyhalf

Season Appearances: 3

Total Appearances: 22

Honours: Ireland (22 caps)

Minutes: 100

Points: 15

Conversions: 6

Penalties: 1

Kicking success: 100%

Passes completed: 9

Metres: 49

JOEY

CARBERY

It’s been a big few weeks for Joey Carbery as he returned to action for the first time since January

2020. Carbery came off the bench against Cardiff Blues on 26 February for his first taste of action,

kicking a touchline conversion to top off his return in the red jersey. The following week he came

on in the win over Connacht and kicked a conversion and a penalty. Last Friday night saw Carbery

make his first start, playing a solid 60 minutes, kicking four conversions and picking up the

Guinness PRO14 Player of the Match for his superb shift. Welcome back!

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

43


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44 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


FIXTURES & RESULTS 2020/21

Date Fixture Venue

Sat 3 Oct Scarlets 27-30 Munster Parc y Scarlets

Sat 10 Oct Munster 25-23 Edinburgh Rugby Thomond Park

Mon 26 Oct Munster 38 - 27 Cardiff Blues Thomond Park

Sun 1 Nov Dragons 16 - 28 Munster Rodney Parade

Sun 15 Nov Munster 38-22 Ospreys Thomond Park

Mon 23 Nov Glasgow Warriors 13-27 Munster Scotstoun Stadium

Mon 30 Nov Munster 52-3 Zebre Rugby Club Thomond Park

Sun 13 Dec Munster 21-7 Harlequins Thomond Park

Sat 19 Dec Clermont Auvergne 31-39 Munster Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin

Sat 02 Jan Ulster 15-10 Munster Kingspan Stadium

Sat 09 Jan Connacht 10-16 Munster The Sportsground

Sat 23 Jan Munster 10-13 Leinster Thomond Park

Sat 30 Jan Benetton Rugby 16-18 Munster Stadio Comunale Monigo

Sat 20 Feb Edinburgh 10-22 Munster Murrayfield Stadium

Fri 26 Feb Cardiff Blues 11-20 Munster Cardiff Arms Park

Fri 5 Mar Munster 20-17 Connacht Thomond Park

Fri 12 Mar Munster 28-10 Scarlets Thomond Park

Fri 19 Mar | 6pm Munster v Benetton Rugby Thomond Park

Sat 27 Mar | 5pm Leinster v Munster Guinness PRO14 Final

Gilbert x Munster Programme Advert_165x12mm_5mm Bleed.pdf 1 06/10/2020 10:07

Sat 3 Apr | 3pm Munster v Stade Toulousain Heineken Champions Cup

MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

45


46 WWW.MUNSTERRUGBY.IE


FULL MATCH REPLAYS

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WITH XTRA

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SIGN UP FOR FREE AT

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MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

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MUNSTER v BENETTON | 19.03.21 | THOMOND PARK

48

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