Ulster captain Andy Ward returns the side for the clash this evening against Munster in Ravenhill while David Wallace returns to the Munster side after injury.
Ulster v Munster, Ravenhill, 7.30.
Ulster welcome back captain Andy Ward for this evening’s clash with Munster while former Wellington Hurricane team-mates, Paul Stenmetz and Christian Cullen come face to face for the first time since they left their home shores.
The home side will be without Robbie Kempson who cried off earlier in the week with a neck injury and this will come as good news to Munster coach Alan Gaffney and even better news to his front-rowers. Good news also for the Munster coach is the return to action of David Wallace.
The only change to Gaffney’s original selection is the exclusion from the bench of the injured Eddie Halvey whose place is taken by former Ireland Youth international Donncha Ryan.
Ulster: B Cunningham; J Topping, S Stewart, P Stenmetz, S Young; A Larkin, K Campbell; R McCormack, P Shields, R Moore, M Mustchin, M McCullough, N Best, N McMillan, A Ward capt
Replacements: M Sexton, R Frost, W Brosnihan, N Doak, P Wallace, S Mallon.
Munster: C Cullen; M Lawlor, J Kelly, R Henderson, A Horgan; J Holland, E Reddan; F Roche, J Flannery, G McIlwham, T Hayes, D Pusey, S Keogh, D Wallace, J Williams capt.
Replacements: J Blaney, M Cahill, D Ryan), P Malone, F Murphy, C O’Sullivan, S Payne.
Referee: G Simmonds (Wales).
Leinster Lions v Cardiff Blues, Donnybrook, 7.30pm
Following their defeat in Edinburgh last weekend, Leinster Lions have lost their last four games and they face a resurgent Cardiff Blues who have now won their last four games. Leinster: J Norton; J McWeeney, C Warner, F Contepomi, B Burke; M Leek, B O’Meara; J Lyne, D Blaney, S Brophy, C Potts, B Gissing, D Dillon, N Ronan, A McCullen.
Replacements: B Blaney, A Kearney, S Crawford, B O’Riordan, J Downey, G Brown.
Cardiff Blues: D van Vuuren; J Vaughton, M Allen, P Muller, C Morgan; N Robinson, R Powell; K Fourie, A Lewis capt, D Crompton, C Quinnell, Jim Brownrigg, M Cockbain, D Baugh, R Sowden-Taylor.
Replacements: D Fenton, R Thomas, H Senekal, R Appleyard, A Moore, J Robinson, N Walne
Referee: A Ireland (Scotland).
Connacht will be without lock Mike McCarthy who was found guilty, by an IRFU disciplinary committee, of striking an opponent and suspended from playing for four weeks. The suspension arose from an incident in the Celtic League match on February 28th against Glasgow and McCarthy will be free to play from March 28th, which means he will miss this game, the home game against Leinster and the away match in Stradey Park.
The Borders: C Murray: N walker, J Stuart, K Utterson, C Moir; T Vili, G Armstrong; C Dunlea, S Scott, G Cross, S MscLeod, C Stewart, A Rennick, S Sitti, D Kane.
Replacements: M Landells, K Todd, D Weir, T Walker, I Fairley, C MacRae, A Turnbull.
Connacht: M McHugh; C McPhilips, S Moore, T Allnutt capt, W Munn; D Hewitt, M Walls; D McFarland, D Fogarty, P Bracken, D Browne, A Farley, M Swift, M Lacey, J O’Sullivan.
Replacements: H Bourke, A Clarke, C Short, J Muldoon, C O’Loughlin, E Elwood, J Meagher.
Referee: Paul Adams (Wales).
7.05: N-S Ospreys v Celtic Warriors, The Gnoll (TBC BBCW)
7.30: The Borders v Connacht, Netherdale, Paul Adams (W)
7.30: Glasgow Rugby v The Dragons, Hughenden
7.30: Leinster Lions v Cardiff Blues,Donnybrook, Andrew Ireland (S)
7.35: Ulster v Munster, Ravenhill, Gareth Simmonds (W). (TG4))
Saturday 6th March.
6.00:Llanelli Scarlets v Edinburgh, Stradey Park, (TBC S4C).