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Seven Changes For Ulster

Seven Changes For Ulster

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has named his starting line-up and replacements for Friday’s Magners League tussle with Munster at Ravenhill (kick-off 7.05pm).

With Andrew Trimble and Paddy Wallace both in camp with Ireland ahead of the November internationals, the Ulster back-line shows two changes of personnel to the one that started against Edinburgh last weekend.

Nevin Spence comes in at inside centre with Ian Whitten moving to the outside centre position, and Ian Humphreys rejoins Ruan Pienaar at half-back.

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Up front Ulster are without the services of internationals Tom Court, Rory Best and Stephen Ferris. The selected pack shows five changes from the 21-16 loss at Murrayfield.

Nigel Brady replaces Best at hooker, and Bryan Young takes on the tighthead prop role as BJ Botha has aggravated the wrist injury which ruled him out of Ulster’s matches earlier this month against Glasgow Warriors and Aironi Rugby.

Tim Barker is preferred to Dan Tuohy in the second row, linking up with stand-in captain Johann Muller.

Meanwhile, the rotation of back row players continues with Pedrie Wannenburg named on the blindside flank, Willie Faloon at openside and Robbie Diack retained at number 8.

Three uncapped players and club regulars – Jerry Cronin (Ballynahinch), Alan Whitten (Instonians) and Luke Marshall (Ballymena) – are hoping to be involved off the replacements bench.

Previewing Friday’s interprovincial showdown, out-half Humphreys said: “Obviously everybody wants to start the big games, and Munster at Ravenhill…it doesn’t get much bigger.

“Murrayfield was disappointing last week but that’s been put to bed and now we’re concentrating on making sure we get the four points on Friday night.

“Munster, they’re the benchmark of the kind of team we want to become. You know when you play them it’s going to be a tough game, it’s going to be very physical.

“It’s the kinda game that we probably need now. We weren’t a great side when we won all the games at the start (of the season), but we’re definitely not a poor side now after a couple of defeats.

“It’s a chance for us to get out in front of our fans and show them that we’re definitely up there to compete with the best and hopefully beat them.”

ULSTER (v Munster): Adam D’Arcy; Mark McCrea, Ian Whitten, Nevin Spence, David McIlwaine; Ian Humphreys, Ruan Pienaar; Paddy McAllister, Nigel Brady, Bryan Young, Johann Muller (capt), Tim Barker, Pedrie Wannenburg, Willie Faloon, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Andi Kyriacou, Jerry Cronin, Alan Whitten, Dan Tuohy, Chris Henry, Paul Marshall, Niall O’Connor, Luke Marshall.