Talented young winger Craig Gilroy has been parachuted into the Ulster team for Sunday’s Magners League meeting with the Cardiff Blues at Cardiff City Stadium (kick-off 3.45pm).
Craig Gilroy has been in try-scoring form for Dungannon in the All-Ireland League this season, and has also featured regularly for Ulster Ravens in the past year.
Ulster head coach Brian McLaughlin has now handed the 19-year-old from Bangor a chance to show his wares at senior level, selecting him on the right wing for this weekend’s Magners League trip to Cardiff.
The Ulster back-line has been bolstered by the return of Scotland winger Simon Danielli from a shoulder injury, while Paul Marshall comes in at scrum half to replace Ruan Pienaar who is on duty with South Africa.
Pienaar’s fellow Springbok, BJ Botha, has recovered sufficiently from a wrist injury to take his place in the front row.
Ireland international Dan Tuohy joins stand-in captain Johann Muller in the second row, and Willie Faloon makes way in the back row for another of the province’s international contingent, Chris Henry.
In all, McLaughlin has made six personnel changes to the side that started the 16-6 derby defeat to Munster at Ravenhill last time out.
Having missed out on selection for this weekend’s Ireland v New Zealand Test, Paddy Wallace and Andrew Trimble will add to Ulster’s options on the bench.
Among those not available are the international-tied Pienaar, Tom Court, Rory Best and Stephen Ferris, along with the injured Darren Cave, Adam Macklin and Declan Fitzpatrick.
ULSTER (v Cardiff Blues): Adam D’Arcy; Craig Gilroy, Nevin Spence, Ian Whitten, Simon Danielli; Ian Humphreys, Paul Marshall; Paddy McAllister, Nigel Brady, BJ Botha, Johann Muller (capt), Dan Tuohy, Pedrie Wannenburg, Chris Henry, Robbie Diack.
Replacements: Andi Kyriacou, Bryan Young, Jerry Cronin, Tim Barker, Willie Faloon, Ian Porter, Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble.