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Ulster Give Debuts To Kane, Piutau And Herron

Ulster Give Debuts To Kane, Piutau And Herron

Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss has selected his team for Friday’s GUINNESS PRO12 round 1 clash with the Newport Gwent Dragons at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm).

Tickets for Ulster v Dragons are on sale now from ulsterrugby.com/buytickets from just £17 for adults and £12 for children. You can also pay on the gate from 6pm on Friday evening.

Ulster Rugby Season tickets, which include all 14 competitive home games, plus a host of other benefits, are also still available via ulsterrugby.com/seasontickets.

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Hughes Insurance Academy prop Ross Kane, Charles Piutau and Brett Herron are in line to make their competitive debuts for the province, while Ireland internationals Craig Gilroy, Stuart Olding and Sean Reidy return to the team for the first time this season.

Rodney Ah You is unavailable for selection having suffered delayed onset concussive symptoms following last Friday’s 29-19 win over Northampton Saints and he will now follow the concussion return-to-play protocols. With fellow tighthead props Wiehahn Herbst, Ricky Lutton and Jonny Simpson also injured, Kane has been elevated into a starting position.

The 21-year-old will be joined in in the front row by Callum Black and Rob Herring, who will again skipper the side from hooker. Peter Browne and Franco van der Merwe will continue their combination in the second row.

Reidy’s inclusion at openside flanker leads to a reshuffle in the back row, with Clive Ross moving to blindside and Roger Wilson continuing at number 8.

Herron will partner Ruan Pienaar at half back, while Stuart McCloskey and Olding will form an exciting midfield partnership. Piutau, Gilroy and Ireland Under-20 star Jacob Stockdale will occupy the back-three positions. Louis Ludik was unavailable for selection because of a hand injury picked up against Northampton. 

John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Andrew Warwick, Alan O’Connor and Robbie Diack will provide forward reinforcements from the bench, with Paul Marshall, Sam Windsor and Robert Lyttle, who is also in line for a competitive debut, offering back-line cover.

ULSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Charles Piutau; Craig Gilroy, Stuart Olding, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Brett Herron, Ruan Pienaar; Callum Black, Rob Herring (capt), Ross Kane, Peter Browne, Franco van der Merwe, Clive Ross, Sean Reidy, Roger Wilson.

Replacements: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Andrew Warwick, Alan O’Connor, Robbie Diack, Paul Marshall, Sam Windsor, Robert Lyttle.