Roger Wilson will make his return from injury on Saturday as the Ulster Ravens kick off their British & Irish Cup campaign against Bridgend Ravens at Deramore Park (kick-off 2.30pm).
The selected Ulster Ravens team will be looking to improve on last season’s British & Irish Cup performance, when they were eliminated at the quarter-final stage by a strong Munster ‘A’ side.
Head coach Allen Clarke has named a strong starting line-up for the Pool 1 opener, with Neil McComb captaining the hosts from the second row. The matchday squad is made up predominantly by contracted and Academy players.
The fit-again Roger Wilson will line out in his familiar number 8 position, while Malone clubman Conor Joyce and Ali Birch have been named at blindside and openside flanker respectively.
Belfast Harlequins duo Richard Lutton and Niall Annett, playing at their home ground, will be joined in the front row by Conor Carey. New Malone player Alan O’Connor partners McComb in the engine room.
Blane McIlroy and Niall O’Connor will form the half-back partnership and they will have Ireland Under-20 international Stuart Olding and Ricky Andrew alongside them in midfield. Chris Cochrane, Adam D’Arcy and Peter Nelson make up a speedy back-three..
Tickets for the game are priced at £8 for adults (£5 concession), £12 for family admission and kids under the age of 10 get in for free.
* Please note that Ulster Rugby Season Ticket holders only get free access to Ravens games played at Ravenhill.
ULSTER RAVENS (v Bridgend Ravens): Peter Nelson; Adam D’Arcy, Ricky Andrew, Stuart Olding, Chris Cochrane; Niall O’Connor, Blane McIlroy; Richard Lutton, Niall Annett, Conor Carey, Alan O’Connor, Neil McComb (capt), Conor Joyce, Ali Birch, Roger Wilson.
Replacements: John Burns, Kyle McCall, James Simpson, Sean O’Connell, Michael Heaney, Stuart McCloskey, Rory Scholes.