Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has named his starting line-up and replacements for Friday’s Magners League encounter with Glasgow Warriors at Ravenhill (kick-off 8pm).
Test-capped trio Tom Court, Timoci Nagusa and Simon Danielli, who replaces Andrew Trimble on the wing, all return to the Ulster side after the November international break.
Ian Whitten, who has captained the Ulster Ravens in recent weeks, will team up with Darren Cave in the centre, while Paddy Wallace undergoes treatment for an ankle injury sustained playing for Ireland last weekend.
In the front row, recent Ireland ‘A’ cap Andy Kyriacou replaces Nigel Brady at hooker, and Declan Fitzpatrick starts at tighthead prop, with BJ Botha recovering from the knee injury he picked up playing for South Africa against Ireland.
Dan Tuohy, another recent Ireland ‘A’ debutant, takes over from Ed O’Donoghue in the second row, and fit-again flanker David Pollock will make his first start for the Ulster senior team this season after returning from a rehab programme.
Lining out alongside stand-in captain Chris Henry, Pollock comes in for Stephen Ferris at blindside flanker, with Ferris sidelined by ankle injury sustained on international duty.
Commenting on the challenge ahead this Friday night, Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin said: “The next five games are vital, we have no time to waste in getting our focus back and right.
“This week the aim has been getting everyone on the same page, to take us forward into phase 2 which is going to be very important for Ulster.
“Glasgow are certainly a strong team, they are level on points with us in the Magners League.
“They also had eight players in action for Scotland during the autumn internationals, and of course Scotland had that magnificent win over Australia.
“There can be no doubt that it is going to be a very tight game. Obviously their three key players are – the half-backs Dan Parks and Chris Cusiter, and also (Johnnie) Beattie at number 8. They have a very strong scrum as well. It is going to be an exceptionally tough game for us.”
He added: “The Ravenhill crowd, the supporters, they are just tremendous. Right from pre-season the whole way through they have given magnificent support.
“So, we are really looking forward to getting back to Ravenhill, after being away for over a month now. We need a big performance for the supporters and we need to build a solid platform for Stade (Francais) the following week.”
ULSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Clinton Schifcofske; Timoci Nagusa, Darren Cave, Ian Whitten, Simon Danielli; Ian Humphreys, Isaac Boss; Tom Court, Andy Kyriacou, Declan Fitzpatrick, Dan Tuohy, Ryan Caldwell, David Pollock, Willie Faloon, Chris Henry (capt).
Replacements: Nigel Brady, Bryan Young, Ed O’Donoghue, Thomas Anderson, Paul Marshall, Niall O’Connor, Jonny Shiels.