The Ulster management have named a 24-man squad ahead of Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 encounter with Benetton Treviso at the Stadio di Monigo (kick-off 7.05pm local time/6.05pm Irish time The match will be shown live on BBC 2 Northern Ireland (red button).
It is the province’s second game in Italy in a week, following their tense 27-25 win over the league’s bottom side, Zebre, last Sunday.
There are few changes in the panel except for the inclusion of young Academy back rower Conor Joyce. The Malone clubman made one previous appearance in the derby defeat to Leinster last December.
Ireland squad members Declan Fitzpatrick and Tom Court have remained in Italy after being released for the Zebre game and will compete with John Afoa and Callum Black for selection in the front row.
Benetton Treviso have slipped to four straight defeats in all competitions since their 27-22 victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield on October 5.
The Ulstermen have won their last five away games and have never lost in nine previous visits to Italy in all competitions.
The two sides have met on eight previous occasions with Ulster’s only defeat being a 23-12 reversal at Ravenhill in October 2011.
ULSTER Squad – Backs (10): Michael Heaney, Blane McIlroy, Niall O’Connor, Stuart Olding, Paddy Wallace, Jared Payne, Michael Allen, Chris Cochrane, Ricky Andrew, Peter Nelson.
Forwards (14): Rob Herring, Nigel Brady, Callum Black, Declan Fitzpatrick, Tom Court, John Afoa, Neil McComb, James Simpson, Robbie Diack, Conor Joyce, Mike McComish, Ali Birch, Roger Wilson, Nick Williams.