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Ulster Select Enlarged Squad For League Derby

Ulster Select Enlarged Squad For League Derby

Head coach Brian McLaughlin has named an extended squad as Ulster prepare for Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 derby match against Connacht at the Sportsground (kick-off 5.15pm).

All of the Ulster players involved in last Sunday’s historic Heineken Cup quarter-final win over Munster have been included in the panel for the trip to Galway.

Brian McLaughlin used the starting fifteen for the duration of what was an extremely physical game, but the Ulster medical staff have reported no fresh injuries.

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Jared Payne, Simon Danielli, Chris Cochrane and Tim Barker continue to be the province’s only players ruled out through injury.

Connacht have lost their last ten encounters with fellow Irish provinces since drawing with Ulster in September 2010. They have not beaten Ulster since a 22-12 success at the Sportsground in 2005.

Ulster have won their last five matches in all competitions and are the form team in the RaboDirect PRO12, having collected 31 points from a possible 40 in their last eight games.

Those results have propelled them to fifth place in the standings, just three points adrift of the Ospreys in second place.

Connacht meanwhile, are currently in 10th place but a win could bring them up to eighth going into their final two games.

Despite qualification for the semi-final stage of the Heineken Cup, the Ulster management and players have stressed their desire to continue to compete on two fronts, starting with Saturday’s clash with their western rivals.

ULSTER Squad (v Connacht) – Backs (16): Paul Marshall, Ruan Pienaar, Ian Porter, Ian Humphreys, Paddy Jackson, Paddy Wallace, Ian Whitten, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Nevin Spence, Michael Allen, Stefan Terblanche, Craig Gilroy, Conor Gaston, Andrew Trimble, Adam D’Arcy.

Forwards (21): Callum Black, Tom Court, Declan Fitzpatrick, Adam Macklin, John Afoa, Paddy McAllister, Andi Kyriacou, Nigel Brady, Rory Best, Lewis Stevenson, Johann Muller (capt), Dan Tuohy, Iain Henderson, Neil McComb, Stephen Ferris, Willie Faloon, Pedrie Wannenburg, Ali Birch, Mike McComish, Chris Henry, Robbie Diack.