Chris Henry will make his first appearance of the season for Ulster on Friday night after being named in Les Kiss’ starting line-up for the game against Zebre at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm).
The GUINNESS PRO12 round 9 tie will also see Louis Ludik return from injury to don the number 13 jersey, while Ireland backs Luke Marshall and Craig Gilroy will rejoin the province’s squad from international duty.
Almost 15,500 tickets have been sold already, but there is still limited availability at www.ulsterrugby.com/buytickets.
Marshall and Ludik are paired together in midfield by Les Kiss, with Brett Herron and Ruan Pienaar continuing in the half-back positions. Jacob Stockdale, who made an impressive try-scoring impact against Edinburgh three weeks ago, is included in an exciting back-three combination that will feature the experienced Tommy Bowe and Charles Piutau.
Chris Henry, who will earn his 151st Ulster cap, is named in a combative back row alongside Clive Ross and Sean Reidy, with the latter packing down at number 8.
Peter Browne and Franco van der Merwe will reignite their lock partnership, while hooker and captain Rob Herring will be joined by Kyle McCall and Wiehahn Herbst in the front row.
Gilroy, Robert Lyttle and Paul Marshall will offer no shortage of pace if called upon from the replacements bench. The front row cover will be provided by John Andrew, Callum Black and Andrew Warwick, with Dan Tuohy and Robbie Diack, who boast 318 Ulster caps between them, also included in the matchday squad.
ULSTER (v Zebre): Charles Piutau; Tommy Bowe, Louis Ludik, Luke Marshall, Jacob Stockdale; Brett Herron, Ruan Pienaar; Kyle McCall, Rob Herring (capt), Wiehahn Herbst, Peter Browne, Franco van der Merwe, Clive Ross, Chris Henry, Sean Reidy.
Replacements: John Andrew, Callum Black, Andrew Warwick, Dan Tuohy, Robbie Diack, Paul Marshall, Craig Gilroy, Robert Lyttle.