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Quartet Return To Boost Ulster Back-Line

Quartet Return To Boost Ulster Back-Line

Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding and Ruan Pienaar all return to the Ulster back-line for the European Champions Cup opener away to Bordeaux-Bègles on Sunday (kick-off 2pm local time/1pm Irish time).

Andrew Trimble will captain the Ulstermen from the right wing, with Craig Gilroy and Jared Payne retaining their starting places in the back-three.

Luke Marshall and Stuart Olding are paired together in midfield, while Ruan Pienaar returns at scrum half to join Paddy Jackson in a formidable half-back partnership.

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There are four changes to the pack from last week’s GUINNESS PRO12 outing against Connacht, with Andrew Warwick coming in at loosehead prop to join Rory Best and Rodney Ah You in the front row.

The second row pairing of Alan O’Connor and Franco van der Merwe that featured in the back-to-back wins over Glasgow Warriors and the Scarlets is preferred again, while number 8 Sean Reidy comes in to pack down alongside Iain Henderson and Clive Ross in the back row. 

With Charles Piutau, Louis Ludik, Darren Cave and Stuart McCloskey all unavailable due to injury, the province’s back-line will be supported by Paul Marshall, Jacob Stockdale and Robert Lyttle from the bench. Rob Herring, Kyle McCall, Ross Kane, Peter Browne and Roger Wilson will provide the cover for the forwards.

ULSTER (v Bordeaux-Bègles): Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble (capt), Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Andrew Warwick, Rory Best, Rodney Ah You, Alan O’Connor, Franco van der Merwe, Iain Henderson, Clive Ross, Sean Reidy.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Kyle McCall, Ross Kane, Pete Browne, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Jacob Stockdale, Rob Lyttle.