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Humphreys In Line For Ulster Swansong

Humphreys In Line For Ulster Swansong

Ulster coach Matt Williams has made four changes to his extended squad for Friday’s final Magners League clash against the Cardiff Blues (Ravenhill, kick-off 7.30pm).

Scrum half Kieran Campbell will be replaced by Paul Marshall for Friday’s game, in which back rowers Stephen Ferris and David Pollock could also feature in.

Also named in the squad for Ulster’s last game of the season is veteran out-half David Humphreys. Having been troubled by an Achilles tendon injury in recent months, the former Irish international is hoping to play against Cardiff as he is retiring at the end of the season.

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Ulster coach Matt Williams said: “David is an iconic figure in Ulster and Irish rugby. I hope he gets out on Friday night and hope the people of Ulster turn up to say thank you for a remarkable career.”

Friday will also be a farewell to a number of Ulster’s big names – Mark Bartholomeusz, Justin Harrison, Neil Best, Tommy Bowe, Kieran Campbell and Roger Wilson will all hang up their white jerseys after the game.

Ulster have a score to settle with Cardiff after last month’s 30-17 defeat at the Arms Park. Williams added: “Cardiff are the powerhouse of Welsh rugby – Heineken Cup quarter-finalists and fighting for second place in the Magners League. They will be a handful.

“A win this Friday would be a great send-off for our players who are going to pastures new next season and would put the team on a real positive footing for next season.

“The fans at Ravenhill have been so supportive of the team throughout the season so we really want to have a great game to end on. For a number of players this will be there last game with Ulster, so Friday night is the perfect opportunity for the fans to say their goodbyes to some much loved players,” the Australian insisted.

“We’ve had three games in ten days, which has been hard on the boys. But the support at Ravenhill has really helped get the guys in a positive mind frame and give it all they’ve got on the pitch.”

Terrace and promenade tickets for Friday’s game are still available at the Ravenhill counter, over the telephone on 02890493222 (Option 2) and will be available on the gate from 6pm on matchday.

ULSTER Squad (v Cardiff Blues): Backs (11) – Paul Marshall, Paddy Wallace, Niall O’Connor, Andrew Trimble, Tommy Bowe, Mark Bartholomeusz, Isaac Boss, Rob Dewey, Mark McCrea, Simon Danielli, David Humphreys.

Forwards (14) – Justin Fitzpatrick, Rory Best (capt), Tom Court, Justin Harrison, Carlo Del Fava, Matt McCullough, Nigel Brady, Bryan Young, Neil Best, Kieron Dawson, Stephen Ferris, Ryan Caldwell, Roger Wilson, David Pollock.