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Four Changes For Ulster Ravens

Four Changes For Ulster Ravens

Head coach Allen Clarke has made four changes to the Ulster Ravens team to face Cardiff in the British & Irish Cup at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm).

Three of those changes come in the pack where Alan O’Connor has taken over in the second row from Neil McComb, who is involved in the Heineken Cup squad.

Adam Macklin comes in at tighthead prop and Andrew Warwick, who helped Ballymena retain the First Trust Ulster Senior Cup on Wednesday evening, has been given the nod at loosehead.

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Niall Annett will join those two in the front row and also takes over the captaincy from his Belfast Harlequins colleague McComb.

The unchanged back row of Conor Joyce, Ali Birch and Mike McComish will be hoping to enjoy another fine outing after helping the Ravens defeat Cardiff 40-14 at Ravenhill last weekend.

The one change in the backs will see Rory Scholes come in for Chris Cochrane on the left wing, with Ricky Andrew and Adam D’Arcy completing the back-three.

Michael Heaney and Stuart Olding are the starting half-backs for the province, while Allen Clarke has maintained the creative midfield of Niall O’Connor and Michael Allen.

Ballynahinch lock John Donnan has received a call-up to the bench alongside fellow forwards Rob Herring, Conor Carey and Sean O’Connell.

The other reserves hoping to make an impact are scrum half Blane McIlroy, centre Stuart McCloskey and Queen’s University utility back Ross Adair.

ULSTER RAVENS (v Cardiff): Adam D’Arcy; Ricky Andrew, Michael Allen, Niall O’Connor, Rory Scholes; Stuart Olding, Michael Heaney; Andrew Warwick, Niall Annett (capt), Adam Macklin, Alan O’Connor, James Simpson, Conor Joyce, Ali Birch, Mike McComish.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Conor Carey, John Donnan, Sean O’Connell, Blane McIlroy, Stuart McCloskey, Ross Adair.