Provinces bolster European squads for quarter-final showdowns

LEINSTER, MUNSTER AND Ulster have all utilised the option to bolster their squads for the Heineken Champions Cup knockout stages, each adding three players ahead of the quarter-finals ties. 

Under EPCR tournament rules, the eight clubs which have qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup can nominate up to three players to their panel. 

Joe Tomane is fit again for Leinster. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Defending champions Leinster, who face Ulster in an inter-pro derby at the Aviva Stadium, have added prop Vakh Abdaladze and wingers Barry Daly and Joe Tomane to their squad. 

Tomane was initially named in Leo Cullen’s 41-man squad but was deregistered during the pool stages after undergoing surgery on his hamstring back in November, while Daly is also back to fitness to boost the eastern province’s back three options.

Ulster, meanwhile, have included the fit-again Luke Marshall in their squad ahead of their trip to Dublin on 30 March, with James Hume and Tommy O’Hagan now also available to Dan McFarland. 

Munster head coach Johann van Graan has registered James Cronin, Bill Johnston and Jack O’Donoghue ahead of his side’s clash with Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

O’Donoghue has made two appearances in his comeback from a serious knee injury and as he builds up his match fitness, could play a part in the southern province’s final run-in with Tommy O’Donnell sidelined with a shoulder problem. 

In the Challenge Cup, Connacht have supplemented their backline options by adding Tom Daly, on loan from Leinster, and Stephen Fitzgerald, on loan from Munster, to their squad.

Andy Friend’s side face Sale at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday 29 March. 

Champions Cup additional players: 

Edinburgh: John Barclay (back row), Mark Bennett (centre)Glasgow Warriors: Zander Fagerson (prop), Callum Gibbins (flanker), Kyle Steyn (centre/wing)Leinster: Vakh Abdaladze (prop), Barry Daly (wing), Joe Tomane (centre/wing)Munster: James Cronin (prop), Bill Johnston (out-half), Jack O’Donoghue (back row)Saracens: Christian Judge (prop), Joel Kpoku (second row), Rotimi Segun (wing)Toulouse: Guillaume Marchand (hooker), Rodrigue Neti (prop), Simon Renda (centre)Ulster: James Hume (centre), Luke Marshall (centre), Tommy O’Hagan (prop)

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