The Ulster team has been announced for the province’s opening European Rugby Champions Cup match against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Saturday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
Head coach Neil Doak has made three changes to the side that registered a 29-9 GUINNESS PRO12 success over Glasgow Warriors last weekend.
Ireland winger Andrew Trimble is unavailable for selection after picking up a toe injury in that win. Craig Gilroy comes into the side on the left wing, meaning Lions star Tommy Bowe switches to the right flank.
With Alan O’Connor suspended, Lewis Stevenson has been promoted from the bench to join Franco van der Merwe in the second row.
The final change to the starting line-up sees Paddy Jackson return to the out-half berth in place of Ian Humphreys.
Stuart McCloskey and Jared Payne continue their centre partnership, while Paul Marshall and Louis Ludik are retained at scrum half and full-back respectively.
Up front, captain Rory Best is again joined in the front row by Andrew Warwick and Wiehahn Herbst, both of whom will make their European debuts. Ireland internationals Robbie Diack and Chris Henry are selected in the back row alongside number 8 Nick Williams.
Doak has plenty of creativity on the bench in the form of backs Michael Heaney, Stuart Olding and Darren Cave. Rob Herring, Callum Black, Declan Fitzpatrick, Clive Ross and Roger Wilson are the forward replacements.
Saturday’s much-anticipated match will be televised live on BT Sport 2 and is also available on BBC Radio Ulster MW.
ULSTER (v Leicester Tigers): Louis Ludik; Tommy Bowe, Jared Payne, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall; Andrew Warwick, Rory Best (capt), Wiehahn Herbst, Lewis Stevenson, Franco van der Merwe, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Nick Williams.
Replacements: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Declan Fitzpatrick, Clive Ross, Roger Wilson, Michael Heaney, Stuart Olding, Darren Cave.