Jump to main content


Ulster Team Named For First Festive Interprovincial

Ulster Team Named For First Festive Interprovincial

With just five days between fixtures, Les Kiss has taken the opportunity to introduce six new faces into Ulster’s starting line-up for the sold-out GUINNESS PRO12 derby match against Connacht at Kingspan Stadium on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm).

Five of the changes come in the forwards after a physical Champions Cup encounter with Clermont Auvergne last Sunday afternoon.

Props Andrew Warwick and Rodney Ah You come in to start in the front row alongside Rory Best, who will again captain the side from hooker.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Kieran Treadwell, who impressed off the bench in the back-to-back games against the French giants, has earned a start in the second row. Iain Henderson has been moved from blindside flanker to partner the youngster at lock.

Clive Ross and Roger Wilson have been selected in the back row alongside Chris Henry, who is retained in the number 7 jersey.

There is just one newcomer in the back-line as Jacob Stockdale, who made his European debut against Clermont last weekend, is installed on the left wing. Louis Ludik is moved to the right wing berth and Charles Piutau will continue at full-back.

Stuart McCloskey, who will win his 50th Ulster cap on Friday night, will again be joined in midfield by fellow Ireland international Luke Marshall. Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson start together in the half-back positions for the third consecutive match.

Andrew Trimble was unable to train fully this week and therefore was not available for selection. Les Kiss has named an experienced replacements bench, which has accumulated 892 Ulster appearances.

The Ulstermen currently occupy fifth position in the GUINNESS PRO12 table, with a game in hand on the teams above them, while Connacht are also in contention for a top four spot.

Please note that the round 11 match is sold-out. With a weather warning and with heavy Christmas traffic expected around Belfast, please allow for additional journey time to and from the stadium. Further details will be available in Ulster Rugby’s Match Day Guide later today.

ULSTER (v Connacht): Charles Piutau; Louis Ludik, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Andrew Warwick, Rory Best (capt), Rodney Ah You, Kieran Treadwell, Iain Henderson, Clive Ross, Chris Henry, Roger Wilson.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Wiehahn Herbst, Franco van der Merwe, Sean Reidy, Paul Marshall, Darren Cave, Tommy Bowe.