Media watch: Leinster places up for grabs and uncertain futures at Connacht

Peter White
08 November 2019

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Round 6 promises a feast of breath-taking Guinness PRO14 action, and perhaps the most hotly-anticipated match-up is between two of the Championship’s early pace-setters – Leinster and Connacht in Galway.

The defending champions are the only side in the competition with a 100 per cent record still intact – dropping just one bonus point – but know the 2015/16 champions pose their biggest challenge so far.

While there haven’t been too many ever-present players in Leo Cullen’s side in the opening few weeks, 23-year-old No.8 Max Deegan has been a regular in the XV and insists he is looking forward to the challenge of retaining the jersey with the impending return of Ireland’s internationals.

Meanwhile, Deegan’s teammate Adam Byrne has spoken about the challenge of balancing university and rugby and how he is looking forward to completing his studies in the coming weeks, seven years after making his Leinster debut.

The defending champions’ opponents have been celebrating new contracts for Jarrad Butler, Tiernan O’Halloran, Sean O’Brien and Tom Farrell this week, but head coach Andy Friend has admitted the futures of Ireland internationals Kieran Marmion and Bundee Aki are less certain.

Among the other fast starters so far this season are Munster, who sit top of Conference B ahead of Round 6 with four wins from five, and the so-far impressive Alby Mathewson insists their style of rugby reminds him of playing back home in New Zealand.

Ulster – who have also looked promising with just one defeat – go up against Munster this weekend and head coach Dan McFarland believes their improved resilience this season will prevent another humiliation at Thomond Park after going down 64-7 last September.

Scarlets are another team among the big-hitters after five games and Josh Macleod’s strong start has seen him earmarked as a potential Wales international, while in Scotland Richard Cockerill insists he won’t rush the return of Edinburgh’s World Cup contingent.

Finally, this weekend marks the end of the South African sides’ first European tour, and with neither Toyota Cheetahs or Isuzu Southern Kings having registered a victory on their travels – with Kings winless in all five games so far – coaches Hawies Fourie and Robbi Kempson are desperate for a result. 

Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!

General sale tickets are available from and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.

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