Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has made three changes to the team that lost narrowly to Glasgow Warriors at Ravenhill for Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 derby match against Connacht at the Sportsground (kick-off 6.45pm).
All of the changes are in the pack where Tom Court replaces Callum Black at loosehead prop, Iain Henderson is named in the second row in place of Dan Tuohy and Chris Henry is selected at openside flanker instead of Sean Doyle.
Ireland winger Craig Gilroy has been included on the replacements bench and is in line to make his first appearance of the season, having recovered from the groin injury that has kept him out of rugby since April.
Commenting on his team selection, Mark Anscombe said: “It is great to be able to welcome players like Tom, Iain and Chris back in. They are all Ireland internationals and their experience will be important for us this weekend against a very capable Connacht side.
“We were disappointed last weekend. However, we created more opportunities against Glasgow last Friday night than we did in four matches against them last season – we just didn’t take them. We need to be more clinical and we know that.
“This week we have trained well – the attitude has been really good and we are looking forward to this interprovincial match.”
ULSTER (v Connacht): Jared Payne; David McIlwaine, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Michael Allen; Paddy Jackson, Ian Porter; Tom Court, Rob Herring, Declan Fitzpatrick, Johann Muller (capt), Iain Henderson, Roger Wilson, Chris Henry, Nick Williams.
Replacements: Niall Annett, Kyle McCall, Ricky Lutton, Lewis Stevenson, Robbie Diack, Paul Marshall, James McKinney, Craig Gilroy.