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Two Changes To Ulster Team

Two Changes To Ulster Team

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has named his starting line-up and replacements for Friday’s Heineken Cup Pool 4 encounter with old rivals Edinburgh at Ravenhill (kick-ooff 8pm).

The game, billed as Ulster’s most important European encounter since 1999, will see Ulster and Edinburgh fight it out for points in Pool 4, with the aim of Heineken Cup knock-out stage qualification or qualification to the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Two changes have been made to the Ulster team from the side that gained a morale-boosting victory over Munster last time out in the Magners League.

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In the backs, Darren Cave partners Paddy Wallace in the centre, with Ian Whitten the player to lose out. Up front, former Ireland Under-20 captain David Pollock will start at openside flanker, replacing the injured Willie Faloon.

On the replacements bench, Irish international Bryan Young has been named as the additional front row replacement.

Commenting on what is a must-win game for his side, Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin said: “When you’re playing Edinburgh you have to realise how competitive they are, they’re very aggressive around the breakdown.

“Their defence is strong, and to beat them you have to be patient, you have to hold on to the ball. The last two games have been very close, but we let them slip away, so from our point of view, we’ve got to play from first whistle to final whistle. We’ve got to take the opportunities when they arise.

“The players are all ready to go; they all love to play in the Heineken Cup.

“To have Edinburgh at home at this stage, well it’s just a really huge game from that point of view. The fact that qualification is still within our grasp makes it an even bigger game, and the players know that.

“I’m very hopeful we’ll get a top class performance out of them on Friday night.

“Obviously the crowd at Ravenhill have been fantastic all season for us, in our last game against Munster they roared us on in the last twenty minutes, to a really hard-fought victory.

“Hopefully they’ll all turn out on Friday night and cheer us on to make sure we get what we want, which is a vital win against Edinburgh.”

Tickets are still available for the crunch meeting of these Celtic rivals and will be available to purchase on the gates from 6.30pm on Friday.

ULSTER (v Edinburgh): Jamie Smith; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Simon Danielli; Ian Humphreys, Isaac Boss; Tom Court, Nigel Brady, BJ Botha, Dan Tuohy, Ed O’Donoghue, Stephen Ferris, David Pollock, Chris Henry (capt).

Replacements: Andy Kyriacou, Bryan Young, Declan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Caldwell, Thomas Anderson, Cillian Willis, Niall O’Connor, Timoci Nagusa.