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Trimble, McCloskey And Henry Return To Ulster Team

Trimble, McCloskey And Henry Return To Ulster Team

The Ulster team has been announced for Saturday’s sold-out GUINNESS PRO12 derby clash with Leinster at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 3pm).

Ireland internationals Andrew Trimble, Stuart McCloskey and Chris Henry are the only new faces compared to the team that defeated Zebre 47-17 in Italy two weeks ago.

The front row is unchanged for this crucial game with captain Rory Best packing down alongside Callum Black and Ricky Lutton, who will make his 50th appearance for the province. Franco van der Merwe and Peter Browne continue their hugely effective second row partnership.

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Henry’s inclusion results in Sean Reidy moving to occupy the number 8 jersey, while Iain Henderson will retain his position at blindside flanker.

Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson will start together at half-back for the sixth consecutive game. McCloskey will resume his partnership with Luke Marshall in midfield after missing the win over Zebre because of a shoulder injury.

Trimble, who also missed that trip to Parma, will take his place on the right wing and will be joined in the back-three by Craig Gilroy and Jared Payne.

Director of rugby Les Kiss has named a strong bench that includes six Ireland-capped players. Rob Herring, Kyle McCall and Andrew Warwick will provide cover in the front row department, with Robbie Diack and Roger Wilson covering the other forward positions.

The back-line trio of Paul Marshall, Stuart Olding and Darren Cave will give Kiss plenty of attacking options off the bench.

ULSTER (v Leinster): Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Callum Black, Rory Best (capt), Ricky Lutton, Peter Browne, Franco van der Merwe, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Sean Reidy.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Kyle McCall, Andrew Warwick, Robbie Diack, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Stuart Olding, Darren Cave.