Ulster head coach Brian McLaughlin has named his team and replacements face the Newcastle Falcons in the first of the province’s pre-season friendly fixtures at Ravenhill this Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).
With three matches in the space of eight days, Ulster fans can expect a degree of squad rotation and while Stephen Ferris will not be available for selection until the Magners League season is underway, the other Ireland senior players – although not included for this game – are likely to make appearances during this warm-up series.
Up front, BJ Botha and Bryan Young start either side of newcomer Andy Kyriacou at hooker, while there is also a first start for Dan Tuohy who partners Ryan Caldwell in the province’s second row.
Chris Henry, Willie Faloon and Robbie Diack will make up an all-action back row with an average age of just 24.
Scrum half Isaac Boss captains the side and links up with Ian Humphreys at half-back, while recent Ireland caps Ian Whitten and Darren Cave will rekindle their burgeoning centre partnership, backed up with an experienced back-three of Simon Danielli, Clinton Schifcoske and Bryn Cunningham.
Neil McComb and Nevin Spence, both training wih the Ulster squad this summer, have been named on the bench.
Tickets for the match are available from as little as £10 for adults and £5 for kids and can be purchased online at www.ulsterrugby.com, from the Ravenhill Ticket Office or over the Ticketline on 028 9049 3222 (Option 2).
ULSTER (v Newcastle Falcons): Bryn Cunningham; Clinton Schifcoske, Darren Cave, Ian Whitten, Simon Danielli; Ian Humphreys, Isaac Boss (capt); Bryan Young, Andy Kyriacou, BJ Botha, Dan Tuohy, Ryan Caldwell, Chris Henry, Willie Faloon, Robbie Diack.
Replacements: Nigel Brady, Declan Fitzpatrick, Neil McComb, Thomas Anderson, Paul Marshall, Niall O’Connor, Nevin Spence.