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Ulster Travel With All-Ireland Qualified Squad

Ulster Travel With All-Ireland Qualified Squad

Head coach Mark Anscombe has made eleven changes to the starting line-up for Ulster’s RaboDirect PRO12 derby trip to Thomond Park to face Munster on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).

Only Craig Gilroy and Luke Marshall in the backs and forward duo Neil McComb and Robbie Diack have been retained from the team that beat Leinster 27-19 last Friday night.

Despite resting a number of players and having a large contingent involved in an Ireland training camp this week, Ulster are still able to field an all-Ireland qualified matchday squad.

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Adam D’Arcy will make his first start of the season at full-back, linking up with speedy youngsters Chris Cochrane and Gilroy in the back-three.

Michael Allen will partner Luke Marshall in midfield, with Paul Marshall and Niall O’Connor forming a new half back combination.

In the forwards, Callum Black, Rob Herring and Adam Macklin make up an all-new front row, while Lewis Stevenson has returned from an eight-week injury lay-off to partner McComb in the engine room.

Roger Wilson will captain the team from number 8 and he will be ably assisted in the back row by Mike McComish and Diack.

There are opportunities on the bench for Hughes Insurance Academy players Ali Birch, Stuart Olding, Ricky Andrew and Alan O’Connor, who made his debut against his home province last weekend.

Hooker Niall Annett, prop Ricky Lutton and scrum half Michael Heaney provide further back-up. Experienced prop Tom Court, who put in a fine man-of-the-match performance against Leinster, is also part of the panel.

ULSTER (v Munster): Adam D’Arcy, Chris Cochrane, Michael Allen, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy; Niall O’Connor, Paul Marshall; Callum Black, Rob Herring, Adam Macklin, Lewis Stevenson, Neil McComb, Robbie Diack, Mike McComish, Roger Wilson (capt).

Replacements: Niall Annett, Ricky Lutton, Tom Court, Alan O’Connor, Ali Birch, Michael Heaney, Stuart Olding, Ricky Andrew.