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Magners Preview: Glasgow Warriors v Ulster

Magners Preview: Glasgow Warriors v Ulster

Ulster coach Matt Williams wants his players to put memories of their recent defeat to the Ospreys behind them as they go in search of full points against Glasgow and only their second away win since November 2007.

MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, April 17

GLASGOW WARRIORS (5th) v ULSTER (7th), Firhill Arena, 7.30pm

Team News: Ulster coach Matt Williams has named his team and replacements to take on Glasgow Warriors this Friday evening at Firhill Arena.

Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris returns to the Ulster starting line-up for his first game since picking up a hand injury in Ireland’s Grand Slam-clinching game against Wales.

With the return of Ferris at blindside flanker, Chris Henry is relegated to the replacements bench. Italian lock Carlo Del Fava replaces an injured Ed O’Donoghue in the second row.

Ian Whitten replaces Darren Cave in the centre, with Cave starting on the bench, and Paul Marshall starts at scrum half ahead of Isaac Boss.

Ian Humphreys returns squad this week, gaining a bench role as Niall O’Connor once again starts at number 10.

Talking about his return to the Ulster side, Ferris said: “No one likes to be injured and it is always hard sitting in the stand watching, because you think, ‘if I was out there maybe I could offer something.’

“Again, it is easy to do that when you are sitting watching.

“The side have gone a bit flat. We have had a row of bad performances and it is important now that we improve on that.

“I am feeling fresh and I am keen to bring a bit of energy and enthusiasm into the side, and hopefully everyone else involved will as well, so we can at least have a decent run towards the end of the season.

“We certainly will be targeting wins in all four remaining games.

“I’m just glad to be involved, and hopefully I will be able to make a big contribution to the end of the season for the side.”

The following players were not considered due to injury: Justin Fitzpatrick, Ed O’Donoghue, Thomas Anderson, Cillian Willis, Bryn Cunningham, Tom Court, Mark McCrea, Kieron Dawson, Paul Steinmetz, Chris Cochrane and Declan Fitzpatrick.

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors coach Sean Lineen has named an unchanged starting line-up for the visit of Ulster.

The Warriors’ last outing was the 38-21 six-try rout away to the Scarlets and Lineen is looking for much of the same from his charges.

Utility back Colin Gregor retains his position at full-back having slotted four conversions at the Parc y Scarlets to exceed 250 points in his six-year career with Glasgow.

Meanwhile, centre Andrew Henderson makes the matchday 22 for the first time following the broken hand which he sustained during Glasgow’s Heineken Cup win over Toulouse back in January.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: Colin Gregor; Lome Fa’atau, Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, Thom Evans; Ruaridh Jackson, Mark McMillan; Kevin Tkachuk, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Tim Barker, Alastair Kellock (capt), James Eddie, John Barclay, Kelly Brown.

Replacements: Fergus Thomson, Ed Kalman, Dan Turner, Calum Forrester, Dan Parks, Andrew Henderson, Bernardo Stortoni.

ULSTER: Clinton Schifcofske; Simon Danielli, Ian Whitten, Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble; Niall O’Connor, Paul Marshall; Bryan Young, Rory Best (capt), BJ Botha, Carlo Del Fava, Ryan Caldwell, Stephen Ferris, David Pollock, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Nigel Brady, Daniel Roach, Matt McCullough, Chris Henry, Isaac Boss, Daren Cave, Ian Humphreys.

Referee: Gwyn Morris (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Graham Knox, Bob Nevins (Both Scotland)

Match Odds (Paddy Power): Glasgow Warriors to win: 4/11; Draw: 20/1; Ulster to win: 2/1

Say What: Matt Williams (Ulster) – “I was bitterly disappointed with our last performance (against the Ospreys). We lost another game we should have won.

“We cannot talk our way out of it, or make excuses for how we played. Once again we were leading, heading into the last ten minutes, and lost a game we shouldn’t have.

“Every player knows they have to put in a performance against Glasgow, both individually and as a team.

“Glasgow are a powerful side, who will be out for the home win, so we must be 100% on our game until the final whistle blows.

“Our focus is to take back the points we lost against the Ospreys and show what we are really capable of. The players all know that they have to stand up and perform come Friday.”

Sean Lineen (Glasgow Warriors) – “It was a fantastic result a fortnight ago against the Scarlets. We scored some great tries, but we can’t afford to dwell on that too much.

“We’ve got four big games left this season, two of which are at home, so it’s vital that the crowd play their part and really get behind the players.

“Our target this season was to improve on our fifth place finish last year and we’re so close to achieving that.”

Top Scorers: 2008/09 Magners League – Points: Glasgow Warriors: Dan Parks 111; Ulster: Ian Humphreys 72; Tries: Glasgow Warriors: Thom Evans 8; Ulster: Darren Cave, Simon Danielli 4 each


Saturday, April 15, 2006 – Glasgow Warriors 18 Ulster 27, Firhill Arena
Saturday, January 6, 2007 – Glasgow Warriors 8 Ulster 19, Hughenden
Friday, April 27, 2007 – Ulster 10 Glasgow Warriors 24, Ravenhill
Friday, November 2, 2007 – Glasgow Warriors 25 Ulster 6, Firhill Arena
Saturday, May 3, 2008 – Ulster 24 Glasgow Warriors 35, Ravenhill
Saturday, March 7, 2009 – Ulster 12 Glasgow Warriors 0, Ravenhill


– It was a return to winning ways for Glasgow Warriors last time out, with a 38-21 bonus point win at the Scarlets snapping a three-game losing run. However, Glasgow have lost four of their last five matches against opponents from Ireland

– Ulster have lost four of their last five games in all competitions. They have won once on the road since November 2007 – a 37-11 success at Munster in the Magners League on January 3

– Ulster’s most recent win in Scotland was 33-9 at the now defunct Border Reivers on April 13, 2007

– Ulster won 12-0 when the sides met last month at Ravenhill, and are going for their first ‘season’s double’ over the Warriors since the 2005/06 campaign. Their only previous victory at Firhill was a 27-18 triumph on April 15, 2006