Ulster’s director of rugby Les Kiss has named a strong side for Friday’s GUINNESS PRO12 showdown with Edinburgh at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm).
Marcell Coetzee, who joined the province in the summer, will make his highly-anticipated debut after recovering from a knee injury sustained last April.
The South African, capped 28 times at international level, will start at number 8 in the crucial GUINNESS PRO12 round 14 match.
Peter Nelson, who sustained a significant mid-foot injury against the Scottish outfit back in December 2015, will make his first Ulster appearance in 15 months after being named to start at out-half.
Stuart Olding is another player making his return from injury, having not featured since the Exeter Chiefs fixture in October. He will link up with Darren Cave in midfield.
Nelson will be partnered by Paul Marshall at half back, with Charles Piutau, Jacob Stockdale and Louis Ludik making up the hosts’ back-three.
Up front, John Andrew will make just his third senior start after being selected at hooker where he will be joined in an all-Ballymena front row by Andrew Warwick and Ricky Lutton.
Kieran Treadwell and Alan O’Connor are paired together in the second row, with Ireland internationals Robbie Diack and Chris Henry joining Coetzee in the back row.
The versatile Sean Reidy – named among the replacements – is in line to make his 50th appearance for the province, while hooker Jonny Murphy will earn a second cap if called upon by Les Kiss.
Wiehahn Herbst has also recovered from a calf injury and will provide additional forward cover from the bench, with Callum Black and Peter Browne also included.
Stuart McCloskey and Tommy Bowe have been released by the Ireland management and along with Dave Shanahan, they complete the matchday squad.
Over 15,000 tickets have been sold for the Ulster v Edinburgh match but there is still availability at www.ulsterrugby.com/buytickets. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased on the gate from 6.05pm on Friday.
ULSTER (v Edinburgh): Louis Ludik; Jacob Stockdale, Darren Cave, Stuart Olding, Charles Piutau; Peter Nelson, Paul Marshall; Andrew Warwick, John Andrew, Ricky Lutton, Kieran Treadwell, Alan O’Connor, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry (capt), Marcell Coetzee.
Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Callum Black, Wiehahn Herbst, Peter Browne, Sean Reidy, David Shanahan, Stuart McCloskey, Tommy Bowe.