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Bowe Reaches 150 Caps For Ulster

Bowe Reaches 150 Caps For Ulster

Les Kiss has named a strong Ulster squad for the GUINNESS PRO12 trip to play Zebre at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Sunday (kick-off 1.30pm local time/12.30pm Irish time), which will see Tommy Bowe reach a special milestone for the province.

Tommy Bowe, who made his Ulster debut against Connacht back in April 2004, will earn his 150th cap against the Italians after being named on the right wing.

Jared Payne has recovered from a kidney injury he picked up while on international duty in November and is selected among the replacements. The versatile Ireland back will be joined on the bench by Hughes Insurance Academy player David Busby, who could make his senior debut.

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In all, Les Kiss has made nine changes to the side that recorded a 37-17 bonus point win over Glasgow at Kingspan Stadium last weekend.

Six of those changes come up front and will lead to an all-new front five. Rob Herring will captain the Ulstermen from hooker and will make up the front row along with Andrew Warwick and Wiehahn Herbst. Robbie Diack and Alan O’Connor are paired together as the starting locks for the first time.

Clive Ross is picked at blindside flanker and will be joined in the back row by Chris Henry and Marcell Coetzee, who has had a major impact in his first two outings for the province.

In the back-line, Ruan Pienaar and Peter Nelson will continue their half-back partnership, while Stuart Olding has recovered from an elbow injury and will link up with Luke Marshall in midfield.

Charles Piutau is also back from injury to take his place on the left wing, opposite Bowe, while Jacob Stockdale – a double try scorer against Glasgow – will line out at full-back.

Callum Black, John Andrew, Ricky Lutton, Kieran Treadwell and Sean Reidy, who all started in the pack last week, are named among the replacements. Scrum half Paul Marshall will join Payne and Busby as back-line cover in the matchday squad.

Following the trip to Parma, Ulster will have back-to-back home clashes with Italian opposition. First up is a Friday night match against Benetton Treviso on March 3 (kick-off 7.35pm), with a return fixture against Zebre scheduled for Saturday, March 11 (kick-off 6.05pm). Tickets are available from ulsterrugby.com/buytickets.

ULSTER (v Zebre): Jacob Stockdale; Tommy Bowe, Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding, Charles Piutau; Peter Nelson, Ruan Pienaar; Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring (capt), Wiehahn Herbst, Robbie Diack, Alan O’Connor, Clive Ross, Chris Henry, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: John Andrew, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Paul Marshall, Jared Payne, David Busby.