Select a team
- London Irish
- London Welsh
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Cardiff Blues
- Clermont Auvergne
- Racing Metro
- Stade Francais
- La Rochelle
Munster v Ulster - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview
Ulster will be looking to break Leinster's best ever start to a PRO12 season with victory against local rivals Munster at Thomond Park.
The runaway leaders are well out in front of the opposition after recording their 11th straight win in the 27-19 success over Leinster at Ravenhill last Friday and will be looking to make it 12 by Saturday evening.
The Ulstermen have won all three games against fellow Irish provinces this season, but so far all those encounters have been at Ravenhill.
With a large contingent of players involved in an Ireland training camp in Dublin this weekend and with Ulster comfortably 14 points clear of Munster, Mark Anscombe has opted to use an all Irish-qualified squad - making a total of eleven changes to the starting XV.
Only Craig Gilroy and Luke Marshall in the backs, and Neil McComb and Robbie Diack in the forwards are retained from the side which beat Leinster.
Adam D'Arcy will make his first start of the season at fullback and will be joined in the back three by youngsters Chris Cochrane and Gilroy. Michael Allen will partner Luke Marshall in midfield, with Paul Marshall and Niall O'Connor forming a new half back combination.
Up front, Callum Black, Rob Herring and Adam Macklin make up an all new front row, while Lewis Stevenson has returned from an eight week injury lay off to partner McComb in the engine room. Roger Wilson will captain the team from number 8 and he will be ably assisted in the back row by Mike McComish and Diack.
Munster got back to winning ways after the disappointment of the Heineken Cup loss to Saracens with a hard-fought 16-12 win over Connacht at the Sportsground last weekend.
The Munstermen have only suffered one defeat in their last five fixtures, which came at the hands of Scarlets in November, while Ulster have not won at Thomond Park in the competition since 2009.
Full-back Denis Hurley will become the 25th Munster player to win 100 caps while Peter O'Mahony, Conor Murray, Simon Zebo and Ronan O'Gara all return as head coach Rob Penney makes a total of eight changes.
Although O'Mahony, Murray and Zebo start, O'Gara is named on the bench with Ian Keatley retaining the number 10 jersey though this time he'll start alongside Murray in place of Peter Stringer.
There's a return from injury for Damian Varley and Felix Jones (bench) while Donncha O'Callaghan and Billy Holland are the only combination up front who remain intact from a week ago.
Ulster: A D'Arcy, C Cochrane, M Allen, L Marshall, C Gilroy; N O'Connor, P Marshall, C Black, R Herring, A Macklin, L Stevenson, N McComb, R Diack, M McComish, R Wilson.
Replacements: N Annett, R Lutton, T Court, A O'Connor, A Birch, M Heaney, S Olding, R Andrew.
Munster: D Hurley; D Howlett, C Laulala, J Downey, S Zebo; I Keatley, C Murray; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha; D O'Callaghan, B Holland; P O'Mahony, T O'Donnell, P Butler.
Replacements: M Sherry, M Horan, S Archer, Dave O'Callaghan, J Coughlan, P Stringer, R O'Gara, F Jones.
What they said...
Munster hooker Damien Varley
"Ulster are on an unbelievable roll, there is no doubt about that. But they have been growing for some time now. It has just clicked for them this season. Their win over Leinster last weekend was very impressive.
"They have some great players up there and they are running away with it at the top of the table.
"But it would be a great way for us to finish 2012 by winning against them. We have a few big weeks ahead of us, Cardiff follow this one and then we have the two Heineken Cup games, two must-win matches with bonus points and all that needed.
"There is a lot of rugby to be played this season but we are looking no further than Ulster tomorrow."
|Click here for more betting|
Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 6th March|
|19:35||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|19:35||Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre|
|Saturday 7th March|
|14:40||Ospreys vs Munster|
|17:15||Scarlets vs Leinster|
|18:00||Treviso vs Edinburgh|
|Sunday 8th March|
|16:00||Dragons vs Ulster|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:35||Leinster vs Glasgow|
|19:35||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Munster vs Connacht|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 11th April|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Munster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Scarlets|
|14:40||Connacht vs Ulster|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster|
|Friday 24th April|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Zebre|
|19:35||Ulster vs Leinster|
|Saturday 25th April|
|TBC||Munster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Connacht vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 9th May|
|TBC||Ulster vs Munster|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Connacht 53 - 5 Treviso|
|Zebre 23 - 17 Dragons|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 15 Edinburgh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Munster 22 - 10 Glasgow Warriors|
|Friday 27th February|
|Ospreys 9 - 9 Leinster|
|Ulster 25 - 20 Scarlets|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|Dragons 25 - 30 Connacht|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Glasgow 19 - 16 Ospreys|
|Scarlets 25 - 25 Munster|
|Friday 20th February|
|Edinburgh 17 - 20 Ulster|
|Leinster 29 - 8 Zebre|
|Benetton Treviso 40 - 24 Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Leinster 14 - 16 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Zebre 10 - 54 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 32 - 14 Connacht|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Munster 33 - 16 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 13th February|
|Edinburgh 24 - 16 Ospreys|
|Ulster 43 - 3 Benetton Treviso|
|Sunday 11th January|
|Ospreys 22 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Benetton Treviso 20 - 24 Ulster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com