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Best To Become Ulster Centurion

Best To Become Ulster Centurion

Ulster hooker and captain Rory Best will make his 100th senior appearance for the province when he takes to the Ravenhill pitch for Friday’s Magners League encounter with Glasgow Warriors (kick-off 7.05pm).

The Ulster team to play Glasgow this Friday night at Ravenhill has been named, and hooker Rory Best will captain the side in a match which will see him make his 100th competitive appearance for Ulster.

Chalking up a century of provincial caps is something that must be made sweeter by the fact that at this stage last season Best was recovering from surgery on a serious neck injury.

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“Quite a few players have reached the 100-cap mark and I guess, because there are so many games, reaching that milestone is maybe not as big an achievement as it used to be,” he told the News Letter.

“But for me it is a huge honour to have played 100 competitive games for Ulster and it means so much to me.”

He added: “The perfect cap to the night would be to lead the side to a win, maintain our unbeaten start to the Magners League season and build us up perfectly for another Heineken Cup campaign next week.”

In the backs, Paddy Wallace has been restored to the inside centre position after playing at out-half against Connacht last weekend. Andrew Trimble also switches wings from the left to the right.

Scotland winger Simon Danielli returns to action following shoulder surgery in the summer, while new signing Ruan Pienaar will make his much-anticipated debut in front of the Ravenhill crowd in the scrum half position.

He will partner Niall O’Connor at half-back, with O’Connor coming in as an indirect replacement for Ian Whitten.

Up front, Ulster retain Bryan Young, Best and Tom Court in the front row, while Johann Muller, who was rested for last weekend’s match, returns to the second row, linking up with Dan Tuohy.

In the back row, Pedrie Wannenburg, another of the Springbok contingent, moves to cover the blindside berth in the absence of the injured Stephen Ferris. Chris Henry retains the openside slot, and Robbie Diack is back at number 8.

With three props – BJ Botha, Declan Fitzpatrick and Adam Macklin – currently on the injured list, Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has called on Alan Whitten. who plays his club rugby for Instonians. The provincial newcomer has been named among the replacements, alongside his brother Ian.

Gates for Friday’s match will open at 5.30pm, and tickets will be available to purchase on the night.

ULSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Jamie Smith; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Simon Danielli; Niall O’Connor, Ruan Pienaar; Bryan Young, Rory Best (capt), Tom Court, Johann Muller, Dan Tuohy, Pedrie Wannenburg, Chris Henry, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Nigel Brady, Paddy McAllister, Alan Whitten, Tim Barker, Willie Faloon, Paul Marshall, Ian Whitten.