Director of rugby Les Kiss has named the Ulster team that will host Glasgow Warriors in round 15 of the GUINNESS PRO12 at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
Les Kiss’ starting line-up is bolstered by the return of scrum half Ruan Pienaar, plus the inclusion of Ireland internationals Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall and Tommy Bowe.
Over 15,000 tickets have been sold for this match but there is still limited availability at www.ulsterrugby.com/buytickets. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased on the gate from 1.30pm on Saturday.
Pienaar will make his first appearance of 2017, having recovered from a knee injury sustained in the New Year’s Eve fixture away to Leinster. The South African will partner Peter Nelson at half-back, with the latter successfully coming through the full 80 minutes in last weekend’s victory over Edinburgh following a 14-month lay-off.
Gilroy, who shone with a quick-fire hat-trick off the bench for Ireland against Italy, will join Bowe and Louis Ludik, one of Ulster’s four try scorers versus Edinburgh, in the back-three. Luke Marshall comes into the side at outside centre, meaning Darren Cave shifts inside to occupy the number 12 jersey.
Up front, Callum Black will start at loosehead prop alongside John Andrew and Ricky Lutton in the front row, while Peter Browne and Franco van der Merwe will renew their second row partnership.
Marcell Coetzee, who had in a hugely impressive debut for Ulster last week, retains his starting berth at number 8, with Sean Reidy and stand-in captain Chris Henry playing in the other loose forward positions.
Club captain Rob Herring has recovered sufficiently from injury to take up a place among the replacements along with fellow forwards Andrew Warwick, Wiehahn Herbst, Kieran Treadwell and Robbie Diack.
Hughes Insurance Ulster Academy player Jack Owens, who has featured on the wing and at full-back for the Ulster ‘A’ team in this season’s British & Irish Cup, is in line to make his senior debut if called upon. Paul Marshall and Jacob Stockdale will provide the additional back-line cover from the bench.
ULSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Louis Ludik; Tommy Bowe, Luke Marshall, Darren Cave, Craig Gilroy; Peter Nelson, Ruan Pienaar; Callum Black, John Andrew, Ricky Lutton, Peter Browne, Franco van der Merwe, Sean Reidy, Chris Henry (capt), Marcell Coetzee;
Replacements: Rob Herring, Andrew Warwick, Wiehahn Herbst, Kieran Treadwell, Robbie Diack, Paul Marshall, Jacob Stockdale, Jack Owens.