Ireland squad members Stephen Ferris, Craig Gilroy and Paul Marshall have been released for Ulster’s RaboDirect PRO12 match against Edinburgh at Ravenhill on Friday (kick-off 7.05pm).
Eleven other Ulster players will remain with the Ireland set-up as they prepare for the GUINNESS Series games against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.
Ruan Pienaar will also be available for the RaboDirect PRO12 clash this weekend, before joining up with the Springboks squad next week.
Fellow South African Robbie Diack has recovered from a knee injury and could play his first senior game since the opening weekend of the season.
Uncapped prop Ricky Lutton, Neil McComb, Niall Annett, Rob Herring and Ali Birch have also been added to the extended group of forwards.
The backs will have a youthful look on Friday night with six of the 12 backs named in Ulster’s 27-man squad having five caps or less to their name – Michael Heaney, Stuart Olding, Peter Nelson, Michael Allen, Chris Cochrane and Ricky Andrew.
The Ulstermen has already won eight straight competitive games this season and will look to extend that run against the Scots, before the league takes a break for two weeks.
Tickets are still available for the Ulster v Edinburgh game (standing behind posts only), but supporters are advised to pre-buy. Gates will open at 5.30pm.
ULSTER Squad (v Edinburgh) – Backs (12): Paul Marshall, Michael Heaney, Ruan Pienaar, Niall O’Connor, Stuart Olding, Paddy Wallace, Michael Allen, Peter Nelson, Craig Gilroy, Chris Cochrane, Jared Payne, Ricky Andrew.
Forwards (15): Rob Herring, Nigel Brady, Niall Annett, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Adam Macklin, John Afoa, Lewis Stevenson, Neil McComb, Mike McComish, Stephen Ferris, Robbie Diack, Ali Birch, Roger Wilson, Nick Williams.