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Ulster Include Muller and Payne

Ulster Include Muller and Payne

Head coach Mark Anscombe has made seven changes to the Ulster team for Friday night’s RaboDirect PRO12 game against Edinburgh at Murrayfield (kick-off 7.30pm).

Regular captain Johann Muller is selected for the first time since damaging his groin against Zebre last month and he is joined in the second row by Lewis Stevenson.

Dan Tuohy has been named in the back row alongside Mike McComish and Robbie Diack, who have been retained from the side that drew with Benetton Treviso on March 1.

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John Afoa has switched back to his regular tighthead prop position, with Tom Court at loosehead and Rob Herring starting at hooker.

Jared Payne, who has recovered from a groin strain, will line up at full-back for the first time since the beginning of January and is joined in the back-three by Andrew Trimble and Michael Allen.

New Ireland cap Paul Marshall is another returning player and he will be partnered at half-back by fellow international Paddy Jackson. Stuart Olding, who has touched down twice in his last two games for the province, will again combine with Darren Cave in midfield.

Nick Williams and Peter Nelson have returned from injury and are named among the replacements. They are joined on the bench by Niall Annett, Michael Heaney, Callum Black, Ali Birch and Ricky Andrew.

The Ulstermen have lost their lead at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table, and will be determined to get back to winning ways in a game that can be viewed via the BBC NI Sport website and the red button.

Meanwhile, Ulster back rower Iain Henderson suffered an injury to his left foot playing for Ireland against Italy in the RBS 6 Nations last Saturday.

Following a scan in Dublin on Sunday, he underwent an X-ray in Belfast. There it was confirmed that he has suffered soft tissue damage.

Henderson will continue to be monitored, but it is expected that he will make a return to rugby in the coming weeks.

ULSTER (v Edinburgh): Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Stuart Olding, Michael Allen; Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall; Tom Court, Rob Herring, John Afoa, Johann Muller (capt), Lewis Stevenson, Dan Tuohy, Mike McComish, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Niall Annett, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Nick Williams, Ali Birch, Michael Heaney, Ricky Andrew, Peter Nelson.