Ulster will go in search of their 50th Heineken Cup win when they face Northampton Saints in Friday’s crucial Pool 4 clash at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 8pm).
The province’s head coach Mark Anscombe has added Ruan Pienaar, Chris Henry and Paddy Wallace to his 27-man preliminary squad as they prepare for another top of the table encounter.
Kiwi duo Jared Payne and Nick Williams are also named in the panel after being rested for last Sunday’s league trip to Scarlets.
Experienced hooker Nigel Brady, development prop Ricky Lutton and outside back Michael Allen come in to provide the Ulster management team with further options.
Stephen Ferris, Lewis Stevenson, Declan Fitzpatrick and Adam Macklin remain sidelined through injury.
Ulster go into the game with a nine-point tally from the opening two rounds of the competition, three more than the second-placed Saints.
A win on Friday night would give them a very strong position before the return fixture at Ravenhill next week.
ULSTER Squad (v Northampton Saints) – Backs (11): Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall, Paddy Jackson, Paddy Wallace, Luke Marshall, Darren Cave, Michael Allen, Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble, Craig Gilroy, Jared Payne.
Forwards (16): Rob Herring, Rory Best, Nigel Brady, Ricky Lutton, Callum Black, Tom Court, John Afoa, Neil McComb, Johann Muller, Dan Tuohy, Iain Henderson, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Mike McComish, Roger Wilson, Nick Williams.