12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
One similarity to that great night in January 1999 will be the support Andy Ward's side can expect. Ravenhill is sold out and the French can expect as passionate and noisy a crowd as anything they've experienced in the south of France.
The return of David Humphreys - who had scored 95 points in his previous four outings for Ulster prior to missing last weekend's game - and Gary Longwell, will certainly benefit Ulster's case but coach, Alan Solomons, readily accepts that his side face a huge task. " A win would demand Ulster's best performance of the season by some distance. They (Stade) are a very very good side. They beat us handsomely last weekend and each of our players will have to play to the maximum of his ability for us to win."
Both sides will be mindful of that night in '99 when Ulster won their final ticket in front of a packed house. And if they can hold onto the French tonight in the early stages then their chance of a repeat will improve. A win will guarantee them nothing in terms of further advancement. But it would constitute a remarkable achievement and it is something that is certainly not beyond them.
Ulster. B Cunningham; J Topping, P Wallace, J Bell, T Howe; D Humphreys, N Doak; J Fitzpatrick, P Shields, S Best, G Longwell, M Blair, T McWhirter, R Nelson, A Ward.
Replacements: M Crick, C Boyd, P Johns, N McMillen, B Free, A Larkin, S Coulter.
Stade Francais. S Jonnet; C Dominici, F Comba, C Mytton, A Gomes: D Dominguez, F Galthie; S Marconnet, M Blin, P de Villiers, D Auradou, M James, P Tabacco, C Juillet, R Pool-Jones.
Replacements: B August, L Emmanuelli, H Chaffardon, P Rabadan, N Raffault, J Berthe, M Lajus.
Referee: N Whitehouse (Wales).