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URC Round 11 - teams and predictions

FRIDAY PREVIEW: The United Rugby Championship returns this weekend and with just seven points separating second and ninth place in the table – EVERY GAME COUNTS.

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Round 11 of the championship gets underway on Friday – with Edinburgh hosting Ospreys and Munster at home to Zebre.

Ospreys have the highest jeopardy of any team this weekend (30 percent).

If they lose, their play-off probability is predicted to fall to 18 percent.

The Ospreys have won only once outside of Wales since October 2021: against Zebre in January 2023.

“We’re excited to be back home for what is a hugely important fixture for the team,” Edinburgh coach Sean Everitt said.

“With the standings so congested and teams around us playing each other this weekend, a win is imperative in maintaining our push for a top-eight finish.

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“Ospreys are playing with no fear, and they’ll travel north with plenty of confidence, but we’re at home where we love to play under the lights.

“It’s Friday and the Edinburgh supporters will be out in full force – it’s set to be a brilliant occasion.

“We’re delighted to see Mark [Bennett] make his 100th appearance for the team.

“He’s been a brilliant servant to Edinburgh and thoroughly deserves a start on a special night for him personally.”

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Ospreys coach Toby Booth admitted that travelling to Edinburgh can often be a tough fixture.

“They’ve had a fair few internationals released back to them for this fixture, but we have some important players returning from injury as well. It’s vital that we carry on with the same effort and intensity that we’ve shown in recent weeks,” he added.

Zebre coach Fabio Roselli said going to play at the home of the reigning champions is a “great challenge”.

“We should respond with a test of character and sacrifice, especially defensively,” Roselli.

“Munster is first in terms of possession and, especially at home, proves to be a very solid side, full of experienced and talented players.

“For these reasons, we have raised the level of preparation during the week.

“An extra motivation will be the special goal of Leonard Krumov.

“I’m sure everyone will give their extra effort to make the Friday’s game exciting and challenging.

“We are very excited about the possible debut of Taddei, who has been working very well with us for weeks, and new arrival Josh Kaifa.”

Friday’s teams and predictions are below ...

Edinburgh v Ospreys
(Edinburgh Stadium – Kick-off: 19.35; 19.35 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Edinburgh by eight points

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Harry Paterson, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Currie, 11 Chris Dean, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Ben Vellacott (captain), 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Tom Dodd, 5 Glen Young, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 WP Nel, 2 Dave Cherry, 1 Boan Venter.
Replacements: 16 Patrick Harrison, 17 Luan de Bruin, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Marshall Sykes, 20 Ben Muncaster, 21 Ali Price, 22 James Lang, 23 Wes Goosen.

Ospreys: 15 Jack Walsh, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Keiran Williams, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Dan Edwards, 9 Luke Davies, 8 Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Justin Tipuric (captain), 6 Harri Deaves, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 James Ratti, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Lewis Lloyd, 17 Rhys Henry, 18 Ben Warren, 19 Rhys Davies, 20 Morgan Morris, 21 Cameron Jones, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Mat Protheroe.

Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Rob McDowell (Scotland), Calum Worsley (Scotland)
TMO: Colin Stanley (Ireland)

Munster v Zebre
(Musgrave Park, Cork – Kick-off: 19.35; 20.35 Italian time; 19.35 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Munster by 25 points

The teams:

Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Seán O’Brien, 13 Antoine Frisch, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Tony Butler, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 Alex Kendellen (captain), 6 Ruadhán Quinn, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Tom Ahern, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Josh Wycherley.
Replacements: 16 Eoghan Clarke, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Fineen Wycherley, 20 Jack O’Sullivan, 21 Ethan Coughlan, 22 Rory Scannell, 23 Ben O’Connor.

Zebre: 15 Geronimo Prisciantelli, 14 Scott Gregory, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Damiano Mazza, 11 Simone Gesi, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Alessandro Fusco, 8 Giovanni Licata (captain), 7 Bautista Stavile, 6 Giacomo Ferrari, 5 Leonard Krumov, 4 David Sisi, 3 Muhamed Hasa, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Luca Rizzoli.
Replacements: 16 Giampietro Ribaldi, 17 Samuele Taddei, 18 Riccardo Genovese, 19 Dylan de Leeuw, 20 Davide Ruggeri, 21 Thomas Dominguez, 22 Jacopo Trulla, 23 Josh Kaifa.

Referee: Adam Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Frank Murphy (Ireland), Sam Holt (Ireland)
TMO: Sean Brickell (Wales)

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