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Henry To Captain Ulster Against Worcester

Henry To Captain Ulster Against Worcester

After last night’s nine-try demolition of Italian Super 10 side Viadana at Ravenhill, Ulster head to Sixways Stadium to face English outfit Worcester Warriors in their final pre-season friendly on Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has named a more experienced team to take on Guinness Premiership side Worcester Warriors.

Commenting on his team selection, he said: “The reason so little of the team from Wednesday were selected for Friday’s game has nothing to do with their ability.

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“It is simply due to the very tight timescales between the games, the players need rest time.”

McLaughlin has reverted back to the pack that helped steer Ulster to a 19-7 victory over Newcastle Falcons last week.

This means squad newcomers, Andy Kyriacou and Dan Tuohy, will once again start for Ulster.

Ireland international Andrew Trimble returns in the province’s midfield, after a pre-season of rehab and recovery.

Last night’s hatr-trick hero, Timoci Nagusa, remains in the number 14 jersey and Nevin Spence, the only Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy player in the starting line-up, is set to line up on the opposite wing.

Jonny Shiels and Academy player Ian Porter, both underage internationals, start on the bench. Shiels was a try scorer in the 53-5 defeat of Viadana.

Meanwhile, Chris Henry, who was part of the Ireland ‘A’ Churchill Cup-winning squad, will relish the opportunity to captain his province from number 6.

McLaughlin added: “Chris Henry will play and again captain the side, but he only played 40 minutes against Viadana.

“While the Academy players – Spence, Shiels and Porter – again didn’t play a full game and need to build-up game time, which the friendlies are perfect for.”

Summing up Friday’s opponents, the former Ireland skills coach said: “Worcester are heading into their Guinness Premiership games the following week, so they will be playing at full strength and for the win.

“It will be a very hard game, but that’s our next challenge – to win away from home.

“We have had two strong displays at Ravenhill, so an away win (against the Dragons on September 6) would be a great start to our Magners League campaign. It will be tough, but I’m looking forward to it.”

ULSTER (v Worcester Warriors) – Bryn Cunningham; Timoci Nagusa, Andrew Trimble, Ian Whitten, Nevin Spence; Ian Humphreys, Isaac Boss; Bryan Young, Andy Kyriacou, BJ Botha, Dan Tuohy, Ryan Caldwell, Chris Henry (capt), Willie Faloon, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Nigel Brady, Tom Court, Declan Fitzpatrick, Ed O’Donoghue, Thomas Anderson, Ian Porter, Niall O’Connor, Jonny Shiels, Darren Cave.