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Best And Pienaar On The Bench For Ulster

Best And Pienaar On The Bench For Ulster

Rory Best and Ruan Pienaar return to the Ulster squad to face the Newport Gwent Dragons in the GUINNESS PRO12 at Rodney Parade this Sunday (kick-off 2.30pm).

Newly-arrived director of rugby Les Kiss has made seven personnel changes to the team that lost narrowly to Munster last weekend.

Peter Nelson continues at full-back and is joined in the back-three by Sam Arnold and Rory Scholes, who replaces an injured Andrew Trimble. Paul Marshall and Stuart McCloskey are retained at scrum half and inside centre respectively.

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Up front, Kyle McCall comes into the team to replace Andrew Warwick at loosehead prop, joining stand-in captain Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst in the front row.

Dan Tuohy links up with Franco van der Merwe in the second row, with number 8 Stephen Mulholland, who makes his first start for Ulster, named alongside Chris Henry and Robbie Diack in an all-new back row combination.

Ireland international Diack returns to the starting line-up having recovered from a muscle tear in his thigh sustained against Benetton Treviso in early October.

Ulster’s regular skipper Rory Best will play his first game for the province since May when he comes off the bench. He is named alongside front row reserves Ricky Lutton and Bronson Ross. Lewis Stevenson and Sean Reidy will provide further cover for the forwards and Ruan Pienaar, a Rugby World Cup semi-finalist with South Africa, is one of the back-line options along with Ian Humphreys and top try scorer Craig Gilroy.

The Ulstermen enter the game in fifth place in the PRO12 table with 18 points – three places ahead of Sunday’s opponents.

ULSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Peter Nelson; Rory Scholes, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Sam Arnold; Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall; Kyle McCall, Rob Herring (capt), Wiehahn Herbst, Dan Tuohy, Franco van der Merwe, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Stephen Mulholland.

Replacements: Rory Best, Ricky Lutton, Bronson Ross, Lewis Stevenson, Sean Reidy, Ruan Pienaar, Ian Humphreys, Craig Gilroy.