Ulster ‘A’ will host London Scottish in round 5 of the British & Irish Cup at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night (kick-off 7pm).
Coaches Kieran Campbell and Willie Anderson have opted for a mix of bright young talent complemented by senior experience, as their side chase a spot in the quarter-finals.
After four rounds of action, Ulster ‘A’ are currently top of Pool 1 on 14 points, with Jersey Reds and London Scottish following closely on 13 and 11 points respectively. With only the top-placed team guaranteed a place in the last-eight, it is all to play for in the final two rounds of the pool stages.
Tickets for Ulster ‘A’ v London Scottish, priced from just £10 for adults and £5 for children (under-5s go free), are available to purchase here.
Darren Cave comes in to captain the province at outside centre where he will be paired in midfield with Mark Best, who was one of the standout performers in the team that recorded a stunning 30-27 win away to the Cardiff Blues Premiership Select in round 4.
Craig Gilroy, David Busby and Robert Lyttle make up an exciting looking back-three that will be hoping to make use of the expansive surroundings of the Kingspan Stadium pitch.
Johnny McPhillips, who kicked 15 points last time out, will be partnered by Jonny Stewart at half-back, with the 18-year-old scrum half making his first start of the campaign.
Tommy O’Hagan, one of nine Hughes Insurance Ulster Rugby Academy players in the matchday squad, retains his place at loosehead prop following impressive back-to-back performances against the Cardiff Blues PS, and he will be joined in the front row by Jonny Murphy and Ricky Lutton.
Robbie Diack and John Donnan have been paired together in the second row, while Stephen Mulholland reverts to the more familiar surroundings of the back row alongside Conor Joyce and Lorcan Dow.
Zack McCall, Craig Trenier, Alex Thompson and Connor Smyth are named as the forward replacements, while Johnny Creighton, Rory Butler and Jack Owens will provide the back-line cover from the bench.
ULSTER ‘A’ (v London Scottish): Robert Lyttle; David Busby, Darren Cave (capt), Mark Best, Craig Gilroy, Johnny McPhillips, Jonny Stewart; Tommy O’Hagan, Jonny Murphy, Ricky Lutton, Robbie Diack, John Donnan, Stephen Mulholland, Conor Joyce, Lorcan Dow.
Replacements: Zack McCall, Craig Trenier, Alex Thompson, Connor Smyth, Johnny Creighton, Rory Butler, Jack Owens.