The Ulster squad has been announced for Saturday’s pre-season encounter with Leinster at Navan RFC (kick-off 3pm). New signings Rodney Ah You, Brett Herron and Angus Lloyd are in line to make their first appearances in Ulster colours after being named in the panel.
The squad features 10 Hughes Insurance Academy prospects – Michael Lagan, Zack McCall, Ross Kane, Alex Thompson, Nick Timoney, Aaron Cairns, Andrew Magrath, Rory Butler, David Busby and Robert Lyttle.
Les Kiss has also called upon a number of players who performed well in the club game last season, such as Matthew Rea, who has earned a contract, his Ballymena colleague Connor Smyth and Conor Kelly from Queen’s University.
Commenting ahead of the game, Kiss said: “The boys have worked hard in pre-season and this is a good opportunity for some of them to show how they can perform in a match situation. The attitude of the players has been top notch over the past six weeks and it will be exciting to see how everything comes together in the upcoming pre-season games.
“The squad for this fixture has a youthful flavour to it and it will be interesting to see how they perform against more experienced opposition. It’s a challenge they are very much looking forward to. A lot of the players will be representing the senior Ulster team for the first time so it’s an exciting prospect for them.
“We have a really strong pre-season fixture schedule in place with this game, the trip to Exeter next week and the double-header against Canada ‘A’ and Northampton at Kingspan Stadium on August 26. Hopefully these games will leave us in a good place as we approach the start of the GUINNESS PRO12.”
ULSTER Squad (v Leinster) – Backs (14): Dave Shanahan, Angus Lloyd, Aaron Cairns, Andrew Magrath, Johnny McPhillips, Brett Herron, Sam Windsor, Mark Best, Rory Butler, Jacob Stockdale, David Busby, Conor Kelly, Robert Lyttle, Louis Ludik.
Forwards (18): Kyle McCall, Andrew Warwick, Michael Lagan, John Andrew, Johnny Murphy, Zack McCall, Johnny Simpson, Rodney Ah You, Ross Kane, Connor Smyth, Alex Thompson, John Donnan, Alan O’Connor, Stephen Mulholland, Clive Ross, Conall Boomer, Nick Timoney, Matthew Rea.
Tickets for Ulster’s pre-season double header against Canada ‘A’ and Northampton Saints are on sale now via www.ulsterrugby.com. Alternatively, you can guarantee entry into all home games with a 2016/17 Season Ticket – please visit www.ulsterrugby.com/seasontickets for more info.