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Ulster Make Changes For Ospreys Encounter

Ulster Make Changes For Ospreys Encounter

Ulster coach Matt Williams has named his starting team and replacements for Friday’s Magners League match against the Ospreys at Ravenhill (kick-off 7.35pm).

Matt Williams has made a number of changes to the team that faced Leinster at the RDS last Sunday.

Out-half Niall O’Connor replaces Ian Humphreys at number 10, with Humphreys dropping out of the matchday squad.

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Robbie Diack is back in the starting line-up at number 8. The South African’s inclusion in the back row sees Chris Henry move to blindside flanker and Matt McCullough drops back to the replacements bench.

Grand Slam squad member Tom Court will start Friday’s game on the bench, with Bryan Young pencilled in at loosehead prop, alongside team captain Rory Best and World Cup winner BJ Botha.

Tickets are still available for the match, in which centre Darren Cave feels Ulster will have to make the most of their scoring chances.

Cave, the Ireland ‘A’ international, is looking forward to putting memories of last weekend’s 32-6 defeat by Leinster to bed.

“I think the biggest advantage of a quick turnaround is that with things not going our way on Sunday, we get the chance to go out in front of our fans tomorrow night and try to make up for it,” he said.

“All the guys are hurting and are very disappointed. We thought the scoreline flattered Leinster and we want to go out against the Ospreys and show that we’re better than that.”

The absence of Tommy Bowe from the Ospreys team is a disappointment for the Ulster squad and the province’s fans as they were looking forward to giving the Monaghan man a warm welcome back to Ravenhill.

Cave added: “The Ospreys are a great side and the thing about them is you have no idea who they are going to pick, who’s injured and who’s rested but it genuinely doesn’t matter because they have so many quality internationals.

“As a young player these are great opportunities whether I’m playing opposite Tommy, Sonny Parker or whoever.

“It’s a good chance to see how I measure up against international and world class players.”

ULSTER (v Ospreys): Clinton Schifcofske; Simon Danielli, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble; Niall O’Connor, Isaac Boss; Bryan Young, Rory Best (capt), BJ Botha, Ed O’Donoghue, Ryan Caldwell, Chris Henry, David Pollock, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Nigel Brady, Tom Court, Carlo Del Fava, Matt McCullough, Cillian Willis, Ian Whitten, Timoci Nagusa.