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Olding Earns First Start For Ulster

Olding Earns First Start For Ulster

Ireland Under-20 international Stuart Olding will make his first start for Ulster against the Ospreys at a sold-out Ravenhill on Friday night (kick-off 7.05pm).

Stuart Olding, a Hughes Insurance Ulster Academy graduate, has made three previous appearances, all as a replacement for the RaboDirect PRO12 leaders.

Johann Muller has returned from injury to captain the side, as has Luke Marshall who will line out in the unfamiliar outside centre position.

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Ballymena prop Andrew Warwick is in line to make his senior debut for the province after being named on the replacements bench.

Callum Black will start at loosehead prop so Tom Court moves to the other side of the front row with Rob Herring slotting in at hooker.

Lewis Stevenson retains his place in the second row beside Muller, despite the return to action of Dan Tuohy who is listed among the replacements.

Mike McComish and Ali Birch get opportunities in the back row alongside the dynamic Robbie Diack.

The 19-year-old Olding will be surrounded by experience in the form of Ruan Pienaar at scrum half) and inside centre Paddy Wallace. Outside Marshall will be Andrew Trimble and Michael Allen on the wings, with Ricky Andrew positioned at full-back.

The province’s bench features the 21-year-old Warwick and Belfast Harlequins duo Niall Annett and Ricky Lutton as the front row cover.

Tuohy and Neil McComb will offer plenty of options, particularly in the lineout, if they are called upon, while Paul Marshall, Darren Cave and Chris Cochrane are the replacement backs.

ULSTER (v Ospreys): Ricky Andrew, Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Paddy Wallace, Michael Allen; Stuart Olding, Ruan Pienaar; Callum Black, Rob Herring, Tom Court, Johann Muller (capt), Lewis Stevenson, Mike McComish, Ali Birch, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Niall Annett, Ricky Lutton, Andrew Warwick, Dan Tuohy, Neil McComb, Paul Marshall, Darren Cave, Chris Cochrane.