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Olding To Make Long-Awaited Return With Ulster ‘A’

Olding To Make Long-Awaited Return With Ulster ‘A’

Stuart Olding will make his long-awaited return to competitive action on Friday night when he lines out for Ulster ‘A’ in their British & Irish Cup round 6 clash with Bristol at Ashton Gate (kick-off 7.45pm).

Stuart Olding, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury against Cardiff Blues last March, has been named at outside centre for the match the English Championship outfit.

The Ireland international is one of four newcomers to the province’s starting line-up, which is again captained by hooker John Andrew. The other change in the back-line sees Connor Young slot in at scrum half in place of David Shanahan, with fellow Hughes Insurance Academy player Johnny McPhillips partnering him at half-back.

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Sam Windsor starts alongside Olding in midfield, while the exciting Jacob Stockdale, Robert Lyttle and Rodger McBurney are retained in the back-three.

Ross Kane has replaced Bronson Ross at tighthead prop and will pack down in a front row that also includes Andrew Warwick and skipper Andrew.

The other new face in the pack is Stephen Mulholland, who is selected at blindside flanker. That means Conor Joyce shifts to the openside berth, with Lorcan Dow remaining at the base of the scrum. John Donnan and Peter Browne are set to continue their combination in the second row.

Front rowers Johnny Murphy, Jonny Simpson and Michael Lagan, along with Alex Thompson and Conall Boomer, will provide cover for the forwards. Academy backs Liam Free and Andrew Magrath will also be hoping for some game-time off the bench.

ULSTER ‘A’ (v Bristol): Rodger McBurney; Robert Lyttle, Stuart Olding, Sam Windsor, Jacob Stockdale; Johnny McPhillips, Connor Young; Andrew Warwick, John Andrew, Ross Kane, John Donnan, Peter Browne, Stephen Mulholland, Conor Joyce, Lorcan Dow.

Replacements: Johnny Murphy, Jonny Simpson, Michael Lagan, Alex Thompson, Conall Boomer, Liam Free, Andrew Magrath.