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Bowe To Start For Ulster Against Dragons

Bowe To Start For Ulster Against Dragons

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has made seven personnel changes and two positional switches for Friday evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 match against the Newport Gwent Dragons at Ravenhill (kick-off 7.05pm).

Ireland international Tommy Bowe, who won his 100th cap for Ulster when he came off the bench against Saracens, starts his first game for the province since he injured knee ligaments against Northampton Saints in December.

Peter Nelson is named at full-back instead of Jared Payne, who picked up a slight ankle knock at Twickenham. Stuart Olding replaces Luke Marshall who suffered concussion in the Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat.

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Paddy Jackson is rested for the game, so Ruan Pienaar switches to the out-half role with Paul Marshall coming in to wear the number 9 jersey.

Tom Court remains at loosehead prop alongside Rory Best, who will captain the side on Friday night. Ricky Lutton starts at tighthead prop.

With regular skipper Johann Muller out for three weeks with a bicep injury, Iain Henderson moves to the second row alongside Dan Tuohy. Robbie Diack returns at blindside flanker.

Chris Henry is rested for the visit of the Welsh region, so Mike McComish will line out at openside flanker with Nick Williams named at number 8.

ULSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Peter Nelson; Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Stuart Olding, Craig Gilroy; Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall; Tom Court, Rory Best (capt), Ricky Lutton, Iain Henderson, Dan Tuohy, Robbie Diack, Mike McComish, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Declan Fitzpatrick, Lewis Stevenson, Ali Birch, Niall O’Connor, Michael Allen, Adam D’Arcy.