Commenting on being back for Ulster, the fit-again hooker said: "I knew that it was going to be a tight ask to get back for these games, but it is testament to the medical team that we have here, Michael Eames the surgeon and the strength and conditioning coaches at Ulster that I am back.
"I have been fortunate that there have been no setbacks along the way and it has just been a case of trying to push on and thankfully I have come through."
Johann Muller, who captains the side, missed last weekend's game against Munster with a calf strain and returns to the second row where he partners Dan Tuohy.
Nick Williams and Chris Henry start in the back row, with Robbie Diack continuing at blindside.
The same backline that started against Munster is selected to take on Montpellier, with Ruan Pienaar at scrum half, Paddy Jackson at out-half, Luke Marshall and Darren Cave in midfield and Craig Gilroy, Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne in the back-three.
The Sky Sports 2-televised match will be particularly significant for right winger Trimble. He will play his 58th game in the Heineken Cup, setting a new Ulster appearance record in the competition.
ULSTER (v Montpellier): Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Tom Court, Rory Best, John Afoa, Johann Muller (capt), Dan Tuohy, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Nick Williams.
Replacements: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Declan Fitzpatrick, Iain Henderson, Roger Wilson, Sean Doyle, Paul Marshall, Michael Allen.