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Scrum Half Marshall Set For 150th Ulster Appearance

Scrum Half Marshall Set For 150th Ulster Appearance

Scrum half Paul Marshall will make his 150th appearance for Ulster when he lines out against Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

Paul Marshall, who made his senior debut against the Newport Gwent Dragons in September 2006, will again be partnered at half-back by the versatile Peter Nelson.

Luke Marshall has been ruled out with a thumb injury, so Ireland Under-20 international Sam Arnold (pictured below) will start the game at outside centre in what will be just his second competitive start for Ulster. Stuart McCloskey, who has impressed in the opening games of the season, will continue at inside centre.

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Andrew Trimble and Louis Ludik are retained in the back-three along with Craig Gilroy, whose two-year contract extension was announced yesterday.

Up front, the experienced trio of Callum Black, Franco van der Merwe and Nick Williams return to bolster the Ulster pack. Captain Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst and Dan Tuohy retain their positions in the tight five.

With Williams packing down at number 8, Roger Wilson switches to blindside flanker, while Sean Reidy will continue in the 7 jersey. Robbie Diack was unavailable for selection after picking up a thigh injury playing for Ulster ‘A’ last Saturday.

Ian Humphreys could play his first competitive match of the season after returning from a hamstring injury to take his place on the bench. David Shanahan and Rory Scholes provide additional cover in the back-line, while Neil Doak has also included John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Bronson Ross, Lewis Stevenson and Willie Faloon in his matchday squad.

Reflecting on his Ulster career to date, the 30-year-old Marshall said: “The appearances have racked up pretty quickly over the past few years so it will be really nice to get my 150th cap this weekend.

“When you’re a schoolboy you dream of playing for Ulster and to have done that on so many occasions is a real privilege. I’ve been involved in some really big games and they’ve always been fantastic, especially at home with our support and the atmosphere that they generate.

“It’s nice to hit different milestones and when I finish playing I’ll look back on some of the big occasions and take great pride in them. But for now I will just be looking forward to cap number 151, 152…and that will be the way it goes until my career ends.”

ULSTER (v Edinburgh): Louis Ludik; Craig Gilroy, Sam Arnold, Stuart McCloskey, Andrew Trimble; Peter Nelson, Paul Marshall; Callum Black, Rob Herring (capt), Wiehahn Herbst, Dan Tuohy, Franco van der Merwe, Roger Wilson, Sean Reidy, Nick Williams.

Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Bronson Ross, Lewis Stevenson, Willie Faloon, David Shanahan, Ian Humphreys, Rory Scholes.