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Muller Gets Captaincy For Ulster’s Pre-Season Opener

Muller Gets Captaincy For Ulster’s Pre-Season Opener

South African recruit Johann Muller has been chosen to captain Ulster in Friday’s pre-season friendly against Bath at Ravenhill (kick-off 7.30pm).

Friday night will give Ulster supporters plenty of opportunity to see the province’s new signings in action, with Johann Muller, Pedrie Wannenburg and Tim Barker all named in the starting line-up for the pre-season clash with Bath.

There is plenty of experience in the Ulster pack and Bryan Young, Nigel Brady and Justin Fitzpatrick form a hardened front row.

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Muller, who has been named as the side’s captain, will partner up in the engine room with Barker, while Wannenburg, Robbie Diack and Willie Faloon will link up in the back row.

Recovered from a recent arm injury, Muller said: “We will be rusty on Friday night, there is no doubt. I will be rusty, but then that is what the three pre-season games are all about, getting ourselves into shape and getting that match fitness so when the Magners League comes we are ready to go.”

There is a youthful look to the selected Ulster back-line, with the back-three of Jamie Smith, Mark McCrea and Tommy Seymour having an average age of just 22.

Tom Whitten and Darren Cave form the centre pairing, while Ian Humphreys and Paul Marshall are the starting half-backs.

Youngsters Paddy McAllister, Adam Macklin, Ian Porter and Nevin Spence have all been named on the replacements bench.

Stand-in captain Muller added: “Over the next three weeks it is not about the results. Yes it is important to win, but we are a work in progress and it is about working on those wee things which we want to try and fine tune.

“We will be seeing what works and who works best with who. This is an opportunity to put everything in place so that we are ready for that all important first league game next month.”

Tickets for Ulster v Bath are still available to purchase in advance of the game from www.ulsterrugby.com. They can als be purchased on the gates which open at 6pm.

ULSTER (v Bath): Jamie Smith;  Mark McCrea, Darren Cave, Ian Whitten, Tommy Seymour; Ian Humphreys, Paul Marshall; Bryan Young, Nigel Brady, Declan Fitzpatrick, Tim Barker, Johann Muller (capt), Pedrie Wannenburg, Willie Faloon, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Andi Kyriacou, Paddy McAllister, Adam Macklin, Neil McComb, Thomas Anderson, Ian Porter, Niall O’Connor, Nevin Spence.