Kieran Marmion and Bundee Aki have retained their places in the Ireland starting XV for Saturday’s huge November International against New Zealand.
The Connacht pair both produced impressive try-scoring performances in last week’s win over Argentina, and Joe Schmidt has kept faith with the scrum-half and centre as a result.
It will be Marmion’s 24th Irish appearance and Aki’s 12th in 12 months.
Joe Schmidt has made four changes in all from last weekend’s game, with Aki getting a new centre partner in Garry Ringrose who has returned from injury. Elsewhere flanker Dan Leavy replaces the injured Sean O’Brien, Devin Toner comes in for Iain Henderson, and Rob Kearney starts ahead of Jordan Larmour at full-back.
Connacht Rugby have two tickets to give away for the eagerly anticipated game, and you can enter for the draw by clicking HERE.
IRELAND Team & Replacements (v New Zealand, 2018 GUINNESS Series Test Match, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, November 17, kick-off 7.00pm):
15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 86
14. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 71
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 15
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 11
11. Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 13
10. Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 77 (vc)
9. Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 23
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 82
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 112 (c)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 27
4. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 62
5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 12
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 51 (vc)
7. Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 11
8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 27
16. Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 64
17. Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 52
18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 10
19. Iain Henderson (Queens University/Ulster) 40
20. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 11
21. Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 8
22. Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Munster) 14
23. Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 8

They’re the hottest tickets in town, and now you’ve got the chance to be at arguably the most anticipated rugby international since the World Cup final.

The world number two ranked Ireland face the world number one ranked New Zealand, and we’ve got two tickets to give away to one very (very!) lucky person.

To enter just answer the following question below, fill out your details, and we’ll announce and contact the winner on Friday lunchtime.

Best of luck! #StrongerInGreen



Terms & Conditions
By entering this competition, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions and consent to your data being managed in accordance with our Data Protection Notice.

Competition Terms and Conditions

  1. The prize is two tickets to Ireland vs New Zealand on Saturday 17th November.
  2. To enter the competition, fill in your details.
  3. The competition runs from November 14th to November 16th until 11.00am.
  4. The winner will be notified by phone on Friday afternoon and must be available to collect the tickets at the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.

Jordan Conroy of Buccaneers RFC has been named in the 13-man Ireland squad for the opening round of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series this weekend.

Ireland were the winners of the event in Moscow last season, and finished second on the overall Grand Prix Series.

The matches will be available to view on the Rugby Europe live stream

Their second-place finish gained them a spot at the World Series Qualifier in Hong Kong, which was held in April this year. Ireland narrowly lost out to eventual tournament winners Japan in the Semi-Final.

The Grand Prix Series will again serve as the entry route to next year’s World Series Qualifier. Ireland are drawn in Pool B for Moscow, along with Germany, Portugal and Poland.

After Moscow, Ireland will compete at the World Sevens Series events in London (2nd & 3rd June) and Paris (9th & 10th June) as the invitational side – more information here:

They then travel to Marcoussis in France for the second round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series (30th June and 1st July) and the following week they compete at the third round in Exeter (7th & 8th July).

The Men’s and Women’s 7s side will both compete at the World Rugby Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco over the weekend of the 20/21/22 July at the AT&T Stadium – tickets available here:

The final round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix takes place in Poland on the 8th & 9th September.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (2018 Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series – Round 1, Oktyabr Stadium, Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 19-Sunday, May 20):

Robert Balacoune (Enniskillen RFC/Ulster)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians RFC)
Shane Daly (Cork Constitution FC/Munster)
Billy Dardis (UCD RFC) Captain
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne FC/Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College RFC/Leinster)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Dublin University FC)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne FC)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon RFC)
Mark Roche (Blackrock College RFC)


Moscow 7s – Pool B:

Saturday, May 19:

Ireland v Poland – 10.44am local time/8.44am Irish time
Ireland v Portugal – 1.29pm local time/11.29am Irish time
Ireland v Germany, 4.36pm local time/2.36pm Irish time

A total of 11 Connacht players have been selected for the upcoming Irish Under 19s and Under 18s internationals.

The U19s take on France today at the University of Limerick at 5pm – the game was originally fixed for the Sportsground before it was moved due to the adverse weather conditions. Prop Ryan Lomas, hooker Dylan Tierney, backrow Neal Moylett, scrum-half Colm Reilly and back three Hugh Lane were all named in the squad, as was Cian Huxford who unfortunately injured his ankle and is likely to miss the remaining games.

The Under 19s take on France again this Saturday at the Sportsground with a 2.30pm kick-off.

Turning to the Under 18s where out-half Dylan Prendergast has been named in the schools squad, while in the clubs & schools squad there were four Connacht players chosen. They are tight head Liam Winnet, second row Darragh Murray, and centres Saul O’Carroll and Shane Jennings. Second row Iarlaith Laheen is among the standby list.


Bundee Aki and Kieran Marmion have been included in the match day squad to face Scotland on Saturday. Aki set to gain his sixth cap as he starts at inside centre, while Marmion is named as replacement scrum half.

Head coach Joe Schmidt has made two changes to the starting team that defeated Wales 37-27 in Dublin two weeks ago, as Ireland look to take a step closer to their first Six Nations title since 2015.

Tadhg Furlong has recovered from a hamstring injury to reclaim the number 3 jersey from Andrew Porter, who proved a more than able deputy against the Welsh. The other change sees Garry Ringrose take over from the injured Chris Farrell (ACL) at outside centre.

Forming an exciting midfield pairing with Bundee Aki, Ringrose is back on the international stage for the first time since last summer’s tour of the USA and Japan. The 23-year-old has had an injured-disrupted season following shoulder surgery and a more recent operation on an ankle injury.

The back-line is completed by key half-backs Jonathan Sexton, who is the Championship’s third top scorer with 32 points, and Conor Murray, and Rob Kearney, Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale are set for their fourth successive outing together in the back-three.

Stockdale has enjoyed a dream start to his Ireland career with eight tries in seven Tests. The 21-year-old Ulster winger is the current leading try scorer in the 2018 Six Nations with four tries – a brace each against Italy and Wales.

It is the same starting front row from the opening round win over France as Furlong is reunited with Cian Healy and hooker Rory Best, who is seeking his 16th victory in 25 Tests as Ireland captain.

James Ryan packs down again alongside his Leinster colleague Devin Toner in the second row, while the loose forward trio is also unchanged with Dan Leavy combining with Munster duo Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander. Iain Henderson, who is back to full fitness, and Jordi Murphy provide lock and back row cover on the bench.

Murphy played against Fiji last November and his most recent Six Nations appearance came in Ireland’s memorable 2015 final round triumph over Scotland in Edinburgh. The final switch for this weekend sees recent debutant Jordan Larmour get the nod for the number 23 shirt.

Commenting on Ringrose’s return and the battle for the second row spots, Schmidt said: “There are always concerns about players for different reasons. Garry has only had six games in this entire season. That’s something you calculate in but sometimes you don’t have the luxury of a plethora of options as is the case at centre for us now.

“Garry’s been extraordinary when he has played for us. He’s done great. He was outstanding in Japan in the back-line along with Keith Earls. We’re hoping he can hit the ground running and get straight back into that form.

“He’s a smart player, and hopefully he can get the balance between when he has to work hard and when he can get a breather back on the pitch. It’s a needs-must situation, but it’s a situation where we’ve got a lot of trust and faith in Garry.

“There wasn’t much between the three of them (James, Devin and Iain for the second row), they have done really well in the Championship so far. It was just trying to keep continuity with what we’d done against Wales and heading into this game.

“Iain was fully fit, he could have played against Wales which would have been a risk but that’s not the case this time. We’re just trying to keep a balance. And it could add to the last 30 minutes of our game bringing on an athlete like him. That also applies to the energy Jack McGrath and Andrew Porter can bring to us.”

IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Scotland, 2018 NatWest 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, March 10, kick-off 2.15pm):

Player/Club/Province/Caps –

15 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 81
14 – Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 65
13 – Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 11
12 – Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 5
11 – Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 7
10 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 71
9 – Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 62
1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 76
2 – Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (capt) 109
3 – Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 21
4 – James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 6
5 – Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 56
6 – Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 45
7 – Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 7
8 – CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 21


16 – Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 59
17 – Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 45
18 – Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 5
19 – Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 36
20 – Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 18
21 – Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 19
22 – Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 8
23 – Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 1

Four Connacht players have been included in Joe Schmidt’s squad of 36 players for the opening two rounds of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations Championship.


Centre Bundee Aki and scrum half Kieran Marmion are joined by locks Quinn Roux and Ultan Dillane. Tighthead Finlay Bealham was not available for selection due to a recent injury.


Ireland take on France in Paris in their opening fixture before hosting Italy at the Aviva Stadium as Conor O’Shea makes his first visit to Dublin as Italian head coach.


Joe Schmidt, Ireland head coach commented, “It’s been great to witness some quality performances from provincial teams over the last seven weeks of European and derby matches, with a number of players performing well. There were some very tight decisions but it’s great to see some competitive depth in a number of positions.”


There are a number of players unavailable through injury: Finlay Bealham, Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brien, Rhys Ruddock, Tommy O’Donnell, Luke Marshall, Garry Ringrose, Jared Payne and Craig Gilroy as well as Niall Scannell who is due to return to action in the coming weeks.


Ireland Squad (Nat West 6 Nations Championship 2018, Round 1 and 2)

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) c 106 caps
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 5 caps
Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 56 caps
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht) 11 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 19 caps
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 73 caps
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 34 caps
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 3 cap
Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 22 caps
Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 4 caps
Jack McGrath (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 42 caps
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 18 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 42 caps
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 3 caps
Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 3 caps
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 4 caps
John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 11 caps
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 18 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 53 caps
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 9 caps


BACKS (16)
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 2 caps
Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 6 caps
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 6 caps
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 62 caps
Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 2 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 31 caps
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 78 caps
Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster) 7 caps
Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) *
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 18 caps
Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 32 caps
Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 6 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 59 caps
Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 68 caps
Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 3 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 4 caps

*Denotes Uncapped Player

The Ireland coaching group have named their final match day squad of the 2017 Guinness Series as Ireland take on Argentina at the Aviva Stadium.


Bundee Aki is paired in the centre with Chris Farrell. Both men have made their debut in this Series.


Ireland team & replacements (v Argentina, Guinness Series 2017, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, November 25th, 5.30pm)

15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 77 caps
14. Adam Byrne (UCD/Leinster)*
13. Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 1 cap
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 1 cap
11. Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 3 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 67 caps
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 58 caps
1.Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 72 caps
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 105 caps Captain
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 18 caps
4. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 3 caps
5. Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 33 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 41 caps
7. Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) 50 caps
8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 17 caps

16. James Tracy (UCD/Leinster) 5 caps
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 21 caps
18. John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 10 caps
19. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 52 caps
20. Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 18 caps
21. Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 5 caps
22. Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster) 6 caps
23. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 5 caps

*Denotes uncapped player

Connacht pair Ultan Dillane and Kieran Marmion were involved in Ireland’s hard-earned 23-20 win against a physical Fijian outfit on Saturday evening.


Ultan played the full 80 minutes and was heavily involved with 9 carries. Kieran played until the 77th minute when he was replaced by Luke McGrath.


Below are some of the best pictures of the lads in action.



Have you heard that we’ve unveiled the perfect rugby Christmas gift?


Kieran Marmion and Ultan Dillane have both been named in Joe Schmidt’s starting line-up to face Fiji this weekend.


Kieran will team up with Joey Carbery in a new look half back pairing. Earlier this week, he spoke to the media ahead of the clash about the new partnership.

“Me and Joey do a lot of reps together in training. We just transfer what we’re doing on to the pitch and that’s the main thing.”


Ahead of winning his 18th cap for Ireland, he is fully aware of the importance of transferring the work in training to the pitch on Saturday evening.

“I think as a player you’ve got to back yourself. If you don’t back yourself then nobody probably will. Your performance, you get that from training, the confidence, and as soon as that happens you’ve got to get out on the pitch and make sure you earn it.”



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