CELTIC LEAGUE: Week 19: Friday, March 25Ulster v The Borders, Ravenhill, 7.30pm
Head-to-head since 2003: Ulster 3, Borders 0League form: Ulster WLLWL, Borders WLLLLTop scorers: Ulster: David Humphreys 78 points / Tommy Bowe 7 tries; Borders: Charlie Hore 133 / Hore 5
Having completed the signing of 34-times capped Wallaby lock Justin Harrison during the week in Sydney, Ulster will be doubly-determined to wrestle the mantle of third-placed Irish side away from Connacht in the coming weeks.
Steve Bates' Scots have never won away from home in the league so it's odds-on Ulster will leapfrog the idle westerners on Friday.
Still, they had just one point to spare - winning 20-19 thanks to Paul Steinmetz and Bryn Cunningham tries - at Hughenden last November, so a near full-strength line-up will be called for.
Coach Mark McCall admitted: "We need to get a win. However, we can't be thinking about bonus points and things going into it.
"We must not lose respect for The Borders. We still have a game in hand over Connacht who have two difficult matches against Dragons and Ospreys to come and everything is in our hands.
"We have three games left and are in the box seat. It is up to us to go out and get the wins and ensure we get up that table," added the former Ireland centre.
The Borders' last win came in a 29-16 defeat of Leinster in January.
Coach Bates admitted this week: "It's a must-win game for Ulster. I expect them to have all their big guns out.
"But it's a real test for us. We will want to go out and be really positive. We've talked about playing a game suited to our strengths and not one that is all about limiting scores. We've got good players so if we can play at our best we can do it."
Ulster and Ireland fly-half David Humphreys meanwhile, could break through the 400-point mark for Celtic League scoring if he notches 11 points or more in Belfast. The Ospreys' Gavin Henson leads the way on 469, with Gareth Bowen of the Scarlets second - one spot ahead of Humphreys' on the all-time list - on 414.
Humphreys is one of four changes from the side which lost 21-15 to Munster last Friday, with full-back Cunningham - having recovered from a collarbone injury - and Ireland internationals Kevin Maggs and Simon Best making their provincial returns.
(15) Bryn Cunningham(14) Tyrone Howe(13) Kevin Maggs(12) Paul Steinmetz
(16) Rod Moore(17) Rory Best(18) Campbell Feather(19) Tim Barker(20) Paddy Wallace(21) Neil Doak(22) Andy Maxwell
BORDERS: Stuart Moffat; Simon Danielli, Calum MacRae, Charlie Hore, Nikki Walker; Alistair Warnock, Chris Cusiter; Paul Thomson (Capt), Ross Ford, Bruce Douglas, Mark Blair, Colin Stewart, John Dalziel, Andy Miller, Kelly Brown.Replacements: Steve Scott, Tom McGee, Will Kay, Matt Parr, Johnny Weston, Joe Pattison, Gareth Morton.
Referee: Phil Fear (Wales)