A 30-man Ulster squad has been announced for Monday’s Magners League derby match against Leinster at Ravenhill (kick-off 4pm).
With the Ireland internationals unavailable for selection under the Player Management Programme, Brian McLaughlin’s Ulster team to face Leinster will have a different look to it from the sides that secured back-to-back victories over Bath.
The squad includes winger Craig Gilroy, who scored four tries in his first two league outings for Ulster, and centre Luke Marshall who made his senior bow against Munster in October.
Up front, Jerry Cronin, Neil McComb, Ryan Caldwell and Thomas Anderson are pushing for selection after the Ulster Ravens’ British & Irish Cup clash with Moseley was called off last weekend.
The Ulster starting line-up and replacements will be named on Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, with an almost sell-out crowd expected on Monday, grounds staff at Ravenhill are working hard to ensure a playable surface and safe ground for spectators.
The pitch is in good condition currently and well insulated under the lying snow. Ulster are bringing in machinery to help scrape the snow and frost from the terraces and walkways.
ULSTER Squad (v Leinster) – Backs (13): David McIlwaine, Adam D’Arcy, Jamie Smith, Simon Danielli, Tommy Seymour, Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall, Nevin Spence, Ian Whitten, Ian Humphreys, Niall O’Connor, Paul Marshall, Ruan Pienaar.
Forwards (17): Declan Fitzpatrick, Paddy McAllister, Bryan Young, BJ Botha, Jerry Cronin, Nigel Brady, Andi Kyriacou, Tim Barker, Neil McComb, Johann Muller, Dan Tuohy, Ryan Caldwell, Thomas Anderson, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Willie Faloon, Pedrie Wannenburg.