Ireland international Iain Henderson will start at lock for Ulster for the first time this season, following his appearance in the back row last weekend. He will combine with fellow Ireland international Dan Tuohy in the second row for Friday’s GUINNESS PRO12 derby encounter with Leinster at the RDS (kick-off 7.35pm).
The interprovincial tie with Leinster will also mark South African scrum half Ruan Pienaar’s 100th appearance for Ulster. Pienaar will play his landmark game alongside Paddy Jackson at half-back.
Stuart McCloskey and Darren Cave continue their centre partnership, with Peter Nelson joined in the back-three by Craig Gilroy and Andrew Trimble.
Kyle McCall will have captain Rory Best and Wiehahn Herbst beside him in the front row, while the loose forward trio is made up of Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy and number 8 Nick Williams.
Director of rugby Les Kiss has once again opted to freshen up the replacements bench, with Chris Henry providing vital experience alongside Rob Herring, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys and Louis Ludik. Andrew Warwick and Ricky Lutton will provide cover for the front row players.
ULSTER (v Leinster): Peter Nelson; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Kyle McCall, Rory Best (capt), Wiehahn Herbst, Iain Henderson, Dan Tuohy, Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy, Nick Williams.
Replacements: Rob Herring, Andrew Warwick, Ricky Lutton, Roger Wilson, Chris Henry, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys, Louis Ludik.