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Guinness PRO14 team news: Team news for six derbies across Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy | Rugby Union News

Rhys Ruddock will captain Leinster against Connacht in Saturday's PRO14 derby

Rhys Ruddock will captain Leinster against Connacht in Saturday's PRO14 derby

Rhys Ruddock will captain Leinster against Connacht in Saturday’s PRO14 derby

As Christmas approaches, the PRO14 is into derby season! And this weekend, there are six derbies from four different countries on offer!

Find out all the relevant team news for fixtures from Friday to Sunday below..

Cardiff Blues v Dragons (Friday, 7.35pm)

The Blues welcome the Dragons to the Arms Park in one of two PRO14 derby fixtures on Friday, with the Cardiff region making three changes to their starting XV as Tomos Williams, Olly Robinson and Dillon Lewis come in to start. No 8 Nick Williams will make his 150th PRO14 appearance.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Garyn Smith, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tomos Williams; 1 Rhys Gill, 2 Kristian Dacey (c), 3 Dillon Lewis, 4 Seb Davies, 5 Josh Turnbull, 6 Josh Navidi, 7 Olly Robinson, 8 Nick Williams.

Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 George Earle, 20 James Down, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Matthew Morgan.

The Dragons meanwhile have made five changes for their trip to Cardiff minus former head coach Bernard Jackman. Jared Rosser, Jarryd Sage, Rhodri Williams, Lloyd Fairbrother and Harri Keddie all return.

Dragons: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Jared Rosser, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jarryd Sage, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Josh Lewis, 9 Rhodri Williams; 1 Ryan Bevington, 2 Elliot Dee, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 4 Brandon Nansen, 5 Matthew Screech, 6 Cory Hill (c), 7 Aaron Wainwright, 8 Harrison Keddie.

Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Gerard Ellis, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Lewis Evans, 20 Nic Cudd, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Jordan Williams.

Ulster v Munster (Friday, 7.35pm)

Dan McFarland’s Ulster are in some cracking form at the moment, and welcome Munster to the Kingspan on Friday showing three changes: Rob Herring, Ian Nagle and Robert Baloucoune are all brought in.

Ulster: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Will Addison, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Robert Baloucoune, 10 Billy Burns, 9 John Cooney; 1 Eric O’Sullivan, 2 Rob Herring (c), 3 Marty Moore, 4 Ian Nagle, 5 Kieran Treadwell, 6 Sean Reidy, 7 Jordi Murphy, 8 Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Kyle McCall, 18 Ross Kane, 19 Clive Ross, 20 Nick Timoney, 21 David Shanahan, 22 Johnny McPhillips, 23 James Hume.

Munster meanwhile have made some 13 changes to their side which lost out in Castres: Darren Sweetnam, Alex Wootton, Jaco Taute (as captain), JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson, Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Darren O’Shea, Fineen Wycherley, Conor Oliver and Arno Botha are all named to start.

Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Sammy Arnold, 12 Jaco Taute (c), 11 Alex Wootton, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Alby Mathewson; 1 Jeremy Loughman, 2 Kevin O’Byrne, 3 Stephen Archer, 4 Jean Kleyn, 5 Darren O’Shea, 6 Fineen Wycherley, 7 Conor Oliver, 8 Arno Botha.

Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Gavin Coombes, 20 Tommy O’Donnell, 21 Neil Cronin, 22 Bill Johnston, 23 Shane Daly.

Ospreys v Scarlets (Saturday, 3pm)

The Ospreys host the Scarlets at the Liberty Stadium in their Welsh derby on Saturday looking for a return to winning ways after defeat at Stade Francais last time out in the Challenge Cup.

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 George North, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Aled Davies; 1 Gareth Thomas, 2 Scott Baldwin, 3 Tom Botha, 4 Adam Beard, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 6 Olly Cracknell, 7 Justin Tipuric (c), 8 James King.

Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Rowan Jenkins, 18 Alex Jeffries, 19 Lloyd Ashley, 20 Sam Cross, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 James Hook, 23 Keelan Giles.

Scarlets suffered a couple of really damaging defeats in the Champions Cup home and away to Ulster over the last fortnight. Johnny McNicholl will make his 50th appearance for the region on Saturday, while Hadleigh Parkes starts in the unfamiliar role of fly-half.

Scarlets: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Kieron Fonotia, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Hadleigh Parkes, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ken Owens (c), 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Ed Kennedy, 7 James Davies, 8 Will Boyde.

Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Dan Davis, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Steff Evans.

Edinburgh v Glasgow (Saturday, 5.15pm)

Edinburgh host Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield in the first leg of this season’s 1872 Cup derby on Saturday, with lock forward Ben Toolis in line to make his 100th appearance for Richard Cockerill’s side.

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 James Johnstone, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Henry Pyrgos; 1 Pierre Schoeman, 2 Stuart McInally (c), 3 WP Nel, 4 Ben Toolis, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 6 Luke Hamilton, 7 Hamish Watson, 8 Bill Mata.

Replacements: 16 David Cherry, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Callum Hunter-Hill, 20 Luke Crosbie, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Juan Pablo Socino.

For Glasgow, Peter Horne will make his 150th appearance for the club when he lines out at inside-centre for Saturday’s derby in Scotland.

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 George Horne; 1 Oli Kebble, 2 Grant Stewart, 3 Siua Halanukonuka, 4 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 6 Adam Ashe, 7 Callum Gibbins, (c), 8 Matt Fagerson.

Replacements: 16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Ali Price, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Niko Matawalu.

Leinster v Connacht (Saturday, 7.45pm)

Defending champions Leinster host Connacht in Dublin on Saturday evening, with Rhys Ruddock captaining the side from the backrow alongside Dan Leavy and Caelan Doris.

Leinster: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Rory O’Loughlin, 12 Conor O’Brien, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park; 1 Peter Dooley, 2 Bryan Byrne, 3 Michael Bent, 4 Mick Kearney, 5 Scott Fardy, 6 Rhys Ruddock (c), 7 Dan Leavy, 8 Caelan Doris.

Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Hugh O’Sullivan, 22 Ciaran Frawley , 23 Noel Reid.

Andy Friend has made 10 changes to his Connacht side for the clash with Leinster after their away victory over Perpignan in the Challenge Cup last week.

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Cian Kelleher, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Tom Farrell, 11 Darragh Leader, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade; 1 Denis Buckley, 2 Tom McCartney, 3 Finlay Bealham, 4 Ultan Dillane, 5 Gavin Thornbury, 6 Jarrad Butler (c), 7 Colby Fainga’a, 8 Paul Boyle.

Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Peter McCabe, 18 Dominic Robertson McCoy, 19 James Cannon, 20 Eoghan Masterson, 21 James Mitchell, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Bundee Aki.

Zebre v Benetton (Sunday, 2pm)

Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Paula Balekana, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello (c), 11 James Elliott, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani; 1 Andrea Lovotti, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 3 Giosue Zilocchi, 4 David Sisi, 5 George Biagi, 6 Giovanni Licata, 7 Johan Meyer, 8 Renato Giammarioli.

Replacements: 16 Luhandre Luus, 17 Daniele Rimpelli, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Apisai Tauyavuca, 20 Maxime Mbanda, 21 Joshua Renton, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Tommaso Boni.

Benetton Rugby: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Ratuva Tavuyara, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage; 1 Nicola Quaglio, 2 Hame Faiva, 3 Marco Riccioni, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Federico Ruzza, 6 Sebastian Negri, 7 Abraham Steyn, 8 Marco Barbini (c).

Replacements: 16 Engjel Makelara, 17 Derrick Appiah, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Giovanni Pettinelli, 21 Michele Lamaro, 22 Tito Tebaldi, 23 Tommaso Allan.

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