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Gilroy To Become Ulster’s Youngest Ever Centurion

Gilroy To Become Ulster’s Youngest Ever Centurion

Craig Gilroy will become the youngest player to win 100 caps for Ulster, at the age of just 23, when he lines out against Benetton Treviso at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm).

Craig Gilroy made his debut for the province against Cardiff in November 2010. He has scored 25 tries in 99 appearances so far.

Nick Williams, Louis Ludik and Stuart McCloskey are also included in the matchday squad having recovered from injury, with Williams selected at number 8, Ludik at full-back and McCloskey named among the replacements.

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With the returning players and international commitments, there are five changes and two positional switches to the side that defeated Leicester Tigers at Kingspan Stadium three weeks ago.

Props Callum Black and Wiehahn Herbst are retained in the front row, with Rob Herring, who represented Ireland Wolfhounds in Cork recently, selected at hooker.

Lewis Stevenson is picked in the second row where he is partnered by Franco van der Merwe, while Williams is joined in the back row by captain Roger Wilson, who moves to blindside flanker, and Mike McComish, who starts again at openside.

Gilroy and Ludik line up with Michael Allen in the back-three and Darren Cave, who scored a hat-trick of tries against Leicester, combines with Luke Marshall in the centre.

Ruan Pienaar (pictured above) starts at scrum half with Ian Humphreys, who needs just nine points to break the 500-mark in PRO12 rugby, selected at out-half.

Robbie Diack has been released from the Ireland international squad and is named on the replacements bench alongside fellow forwards John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Bronson Ross and Clive Ross. Backs Paul Marshall, McCloskey and Peter Nelson complete the 23-man panel.

More than 15,000 tickets have been sold for the BBC 2 Northern Ireland-televised match. Tickets for the game are still available and can be purchased online here.

Supporters will also be able to buy on the gate on Friday night. However, for the best available tickets, fans are encouraged to purchase in advance.

ULSTER (v Benetton Treviso): Louis Ludik; Craig Gilroy, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Michael Allen; Ian Humphreys, Ruan Pienaar; Callum Black, Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst, Lewis Stevenson, Franco van der Merwe, Roger Wilson (capt), Mike McComish, Nick Williams.

Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Bronson Ross, Robbie Diack, Clive Ross, Paul Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Peter Nelson.