Guinness PRO14 team news
Last Updated: 05/04/19 6:42pm
Keep across all the PRO14 team news ahead of another busy round of matches in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and South Africa.
Glasgow Warriors vs Ulster (Friday, 7.35pm)
Second row Jonny Gray will play his 100th game for PRO14 Conference A leaders Glasgow on Friday as the Warriors welcome Ulster to a sold-out Scotstoun Stadium.
Elsewhere, Tommy Seymour returns to the starting XV having recovered from a rib injury picked up playing for Scotland. He joins fellow centurions Stuart Hogg and Niko Matawalu in the back-three. Kyle Steyn shifts from wing to centre to play alongside Sam Johnson in midfield.
Rob Harley partners Gray in the engine room. Adam Ashe and Chris Fusaro are promoted to the starting line-up to play with Matt Fagerson in the back-row.
Fresh from their agonising Champions Cup quarter-final defeat to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium last week, Ulster have made five changes.
Luke Marshall, who made a try-scoring impact on his return from a long-term injury lay-off last weekend, has been named to start at outside-centre, while winger Rob Lyttle also returns to the starting line-up.
Alan O'Connor will captain the side from the second row alongside Kieran Treadwell. Hooker Rob Herring, Ulster's top try scorer (six) in the PRO14, will pack down in the front row, while Sean Reidy, who made his 100th Ulster appearance on Saturday, starts at blindside flanker.
Munster vs Cardiff Blues (Friday, 7.35pm)
Attempting to keep up with Glasgow at the top of Conference A, Munster have made six changes to their side which registered a Champions Cup quarter-final win at Edinburgh.
Mike Haley comes in to start at full-back, having missed out last week due to illness, while Tyler Bleyendaal replaces the injured Joey Carbery at fly-half.
In the forwards, hooker Kevin O'Byrne comes in, while Billy Holland, Chris Cloete and Arno Botha replace Tadhg Beirne, Jack O'Donoghue and CJ Stander respectively.
It's #Gameday!— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) April 5, 2019
We welcome another bumper crowd to Irish Independent Park tonight for our final game in Cork this season!
In-form Cardiff Blues are the visitors in the Guinness PRO14 and here is your Munster team for tonight's clash! #MUNvCBL #FridayNightLights #SUAF 🔴 pic.twitter.com/hXNkE2Wh6Z
The Blues meanwhile have made three changes to their side, with Shane Lewis-Hughes continuing on the blindside flank after replacing the injured Josh Navidi mid-game two weeks ago.
Seb Davies and Dillon Lewis also come into the starting line-up following minor injuries to Nick Williams and Dmitri Arhip. Davies slots into the second-row with Josh Turnbull moving to No 8.
Kristian Dacey captains the side on his 150th appearance for the region, while Aled Summerhill will also reach a half century of caps.
Cheetahs vs Ospreys (Saturday, 4.30pm)
The Cheetahs will seek to finish off the season on a high when they host Ospreys at Toyota Free State Stadium on Saturday.
Coach Franco Smith is without Oupa Mohoje (knee), Aidon Davis (broken leg), Junior Pokomela (back), Schalk van der Merwe (groin).
But Joseph Dweba starts at hooker with Marnus van der Merwe providing cover on the bench. Luan de Bruin and Aranos Coetzee rotate with De Bruin starting at tighthead prop while Gerhard Olivier is selected at flanker.
Ospreys are without Alun Wyn Jones (knee), Giorgi Nemsadze (neck), George North (hand), Kieran Williams (ankle) and Scott Williams (back).
It's a night of milestones for the Welsh side as Hanno Dirksen makes his 100th Championship appearance, while it is 150 up for James King.
Zebre vs Connacht (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Jack Carty will start against Zebre after the fly-half recovered from the arm injury sustained last Saturday's Challenge Cup defeat by Sale.
Caolin Blade will partner the Ireland international at half-back after he was chosen over Kieran Marmion.
Meanwhile, Andy Friend makes six changes to his pack as Ultan Dillane and Jarrad Butler are restored.
Connacht sit third in Conference A but are level on points with fourth-placed Cardiff Blues with three regular-season games remaining.
Bottom side Zebre have just three league wins so far this season and they make three changes to their backline.
Mattia Bellini, Francois Brummer and Joshua Renton are brought in while Marco Ciccioli starts at tighthead prop.
Zebre: Padovani, Bellini, Bisegni, Boni, Elliot, Brummer, Renton, Lovotti, Fabiani, Ciccioli, Sisi, Biagi, Tuivaiti, Mbanda, Giammarioli.
Replacements: Ceciliani, Rimpeli, Zilocchi, Krumov, Brown, Palazzani, De Battista, Di Giulio.
Scarlets vs Edinburgh (Saturday, 6.45pm)
Six of Wales' Grand Slam-winning squad are welcomed back to the Scarlets' starting line-up against Conference B play-off rivals Edinburgh.
Ken Owens, Rob Evans, scrum-half Gareth Davies, centres Jonathan Davies and Hadleigh Parkes and wing Steff Evans are all recalled.
📰 Team news - Scarlets welcome back 6️⃣ of Wales' Grand Slam-winning squad to starting XV for @PRO14Official clash with @EdinburghRugby— Scarlets Rugby (@scarlets_rugby) April 5, 2019
📰 Newyddion Tîm - Mae’r Scarlets yn croesawi nol 6⃣ o garfan Camp Lawn Cymru i gychwyn yn erbyn y gêm holl bwysig yn erbyn @EdinburghRugby pic.twitter.com/PPkBT4OPem
Rhys Patchell is left out of the 23-man squad, however, as flanker John Barclay returns to face his former side.
Kieron Fonotia and Paul Asquith are replaced behind the scrum by Kieron Fonotia and Paul Asquith as head coach Wayne Pivac makes eight changes from the 41-17 defeat to Cardiff Blues.
Edinburgh make one alteration to the side defeated by Munster in the Champions Cup quarter-finals, as centre Mark Bennett replaces the injured James Johnstone.
Leinster vs Benetton (Saturday, 7.45pm)
Runaway Conference B leaders Leinster have made sweeping changes to the side that started the victory over Ulster in the Champions Cup ahead of facing Benetton in Dublin.
Lock Scott Fardy and scrum-half Luke McGrath are the only two players who are retained as head coach Leo Cullen freshens up his team.
James Tracey, Andrew Porter, Mick Kearney and Noel Reid are promoted from the replacements' bench.
Leinster are fighting to retain their PRO14 and Champions Cup crowns over the next six weeks, with a semi-final against Toulouse on April 21 in their sights.
Benetton are four points behind second-placed Ulster.
Benetton: Hayward, Tavuyara, Zanon, Morisi, Ioane, Allan, Duvenage, Quaglio, Bigi, Riccioni, Herbst, Ruzza, Negri, Steyn, Halafihi.
Replacements: Baravalle, Appiah, Ferrari, Lazzaroni, Pettinelli, Tebaldi, Rizzi, Sgarbi.
Southern Kings vs Dragons (Sunday, 2pm)
Zane Kirchner is back to face his countrymen as the Dragons prepare for a PRO14 double-header in South Africa.
Full-back Kirchner is one of four changes by head coach Ceri Jones as Josh Lewis comes into the side at fly-half and Adam Warren and Jack Dixon are picked in midfield.
Jones said: "We've had a good first few days in South Africa, with a fantastic training base in Port Elizabeth at Nelson Mandela University, and the players are looking forward to getting into the games.
⚠️ TEAM NEWS 🐉 | Here are your @dragonsrugby to take on @SouthernKingsSA on Sunday at NMU Madibaz Stadium in South Africa... 👏— Dragons 🏉 (@dragonsrugby) April 5, 2019
There are 4⃣ changes with @Josh10Lewis @jackdixon1312 @adz_warren and Kirchner all starting 👍#BringYourFire🔥 #KINvDRA pic.twitter.com/iSHOJzUVse
"We are determined to try and get that away win, but also aware of the challenge we face against the Kings, a team close to us in the league standings."
Prop Ryan Bevington is named as a replacement and is in line to make his first league appearance since December.
Andries van Schalkwyk will make his 100th league appearance for the Southern Kings with the second-row one of two changes to the side that lost to Ulster.
Southern Kings: Banda, Penxe, H Klaasen, Kruger, Basson, Pretorius, Ungerer; Ferreira, Willemse, Terblanche, Van Schalkwyk, Astle, Ntsila, Burger, Lerm.
Replacements: Van Rooyen, Tshakweni, Scholtz, Greeff, De Wit, Van Rooyen, B Klaasen, Beyers.