Round three of the Guinness PRO14 season is nearly upon us.
The teams for Friday night’s marquee match-ups are out and there are returns, farewells, broken bones and bruised egos aplenty.
But we start with Dave Kearney, Leinster’s hat-trick hero from round one who is back in blue this weekend at the RDS Arena after sitting out round two.
It’s been quite a journey for Kearney, who has had such a miserable time of things with injury since the last World Cup and missed out on this one after being included in the training camp.
But the man himself is just happy to be back out on the pitch, as he told the 42.ie.
Similar World Cup heartache is motivating Glasgow Warriors pair Nick Grigg and Matt Fagerson.
The duo were two of the last cuts from Gregor Townsend’s squad and are keen to make up for their disappointment for Dave Rennie’s so far misfiring side.
Sticking in Scotland, and Edinburgh are at the RDS this weekend looking to make it three wins from three.
And Richard Cockerill is never one to shirk a challenge.
Meanwhile, the high-flying Toyota Cheetahs welcome Munster to Bloemfontein for a special occasion.
Not only are the Cheetahs looking to go three from three, but they are also bidding farewell to Franco Smith.
The head coach will be in charge for the last time, before heading to Italy to join the national coaching set-up there.
And the former Benetton boss, who led the Cheetahs to Currie Cup success and the Guinness PRO14 play-offs at the first time of asking, has had his say.
But Munster will not be just rolling over to let Franco have his farewell party.
They want a hat-trick of their own, and Johann van Graan’s side clearly mean business.
Elsewhere, Connacht head coach Andy Friend has handed a full debut to Australian Sevens star John Porch in the only change ahead of tomorrow’s Guinness PRO14 clash with the Dragons at Rodney Parade.
Their opponents the Dragons have finally ended their away day hell that stretched all the way back to 2015.
But the challenge now, according to the South Wales Argus, is to build on that win in Parma last time out.
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 http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 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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