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Big Guns Back For Ulster

Big Guns Back For Ulster

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has made six changes to the side that lost to Edinburgh for Saturday evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 derby match against Leinster at the RDS (kick-off 6.15pm).

Ruan Pienaar and Chris Henry return to the Ulster team having recovered from injury. Number 8 Nick Williams, who played the second half at Murrayfield last weekend, starts his first game since suffering a knee injury in January.

Ireland internationals Rory Best and Craig Gilroy also return to the province’s starting line-up following their involvement in the RBS 6 Nations.

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With John Afoa in New Zealand for the birth of his third child, there is a first Ulster start for tighthead prop Ricky Lutton.

The 27-year-old Lutton, who was named Club Player of the Year at last year’s Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards, signed a development contract with the province at the start of this season.

Robbie Diack switches from number 8 to blindside flanker for the interprovincial clash, while Dan Tuohy reverts to his usual position in the second row.

Rob Herring, Lewis Stevenson and Paul Marshall drop to the bench. They are joined by back rowers Roger Wilson and Iain Henderson who have both recovered from injury.

Callum Black and Peter Nelson retain their places among the replacements while Academy prop Kyle McCall, who has represented Ireland at Under-20 level, is in line to make his first senior appearance for Ulster off the bench.

ULSTER (v Leinster): Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Stuart Olding, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Tom Court, Rory Best, Ricky Lutton, Johann Muller (capt), Dan Tuohy, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Kyle McCall, Lewis Stevenson, Iain Henderson, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Peter Nelson.