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Humphreys And Wannenburg To Start For Ulster

Humphreys And Wannenburg To Start For Ulster

Ian Humphreys and Pedrie Wannenburg have won their fitness battles and have been named in Ulster’s starting line-up to face the Leicester Tigers in the sold-out Heineken Cup round 5 tie at Ravenhill on Friday (kick-off 8pm).

Both Ian Humphreys (hamstring) and Pedrie Wannenburg (ankle) left the pitch with injuries during last weekend’s RaboDirect PRO12 match against Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

The selected team to play Leicester shows just one change with Paddy Wallace, who made a 20-minute cameo against Edinburgh on his return from a hand injury, named in the centre. He replaces the benched Ian Whitten.

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Ulster head coach Brian McLaughlin said: “The whole team has performed well in recent weeks but we have worked on a few things in training this week to ensure that we are in peak condition and are raring to go.

“The game at Welford Road in round 2 was very tight and we were really disappointed to come away with nothing.

“To beat Leicester, you have to beat them up front. They play a game based on their set piece, and that aspect of the game will be crucial for us.”

Elsewhere, amongst the replacements, Nigel Brady is preferred to Andi Kyriacou as reserve hooker and will make his 100th appearance for the province should he be called upon during the game.

“Nigel has been a fantastic servant to Ulster Rugby over the years,” added McLaughlin.

“He is an integral member of the squad and has the respect of his team-mates and all the staff at Ulster Rugby. He is an Ulsterman through and through and he takes great pride in his performance when he takes the field.”

The Ulster players, management team and supporters got an extra boost ahead of the game this week with yesterday’s news that scrum halves Ruan Pienaar and Paul Marshall have each committed to the province for another two years

“It’s great to have Ruan and Paul with us for another couple of years. They have both shown this season that they are excellent players and it’s a great boost that they’ve decided to stay,” admitted the Ulster boss.

“Paul is unlucky not to be starting this week; it was a very tight call. Depending on what way the game is going, he is a great option to have on the bench because we know he can make a real impact if he comes on.”

The Ulster v Leicester fixture is sold out and there will be no tickets available for sale on the gates. Gates open at 6pm and those with tickets are advised to come to the ground early given the capacity crowd.

ULSTER (v Leicester Tigers): Stefan Terblanche; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Craig Gilroy; Ian Humphreys, Ruan Pienaar; Tom Court, Rory Best, John Afoa, Johann Muller (capt), Dan Tuohy, Stephen Ferris, Chris Henry, Pedrie Wannenburg.

Replacements: Nigel Brady, Callum Black, Adam Macklin, Lewis Stevenson, Willie Faloon, Paul Marshall, Ian Whitten, Adam D’Arcy.