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Ulster And Barbarians Teams Revealed For Kingspan Showdown

Ulster And Barbarians Teams Revealed For Kingspan Showdown

Ulster and the Barbarians have named their matchday squads for Thursday’s showdown between the sides at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm).

Tickets for Ulster v Barbarians, priced from £20 for adults and £12 for juniors, are still available to buy online. Click here to buy now. 

Roger Wilson and Ruan Pienaar will share the Ulster captaincy in what will be their final appearances for the province.

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There are three changes to the pack that helped Les Kiss’ men beat Leinster in the last game of the regular season as Peter Browne, Matthew Rea and Clive Ross come in for Kieran Treadwell, Robbie Diack and Sean Reidy respectively.

The front row of Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring and Rodney Ah You remains intact, with Alan O’Connor continuing in the second row and Wilson packing down at number 8.

The back-line includes Ireland internationals Stuart McCloskey and Craig Gilroy, while out-half Brett Herron will partner Pienaar at half-back and Peter Nelson will start at full-back.

Kiss has given youngsters Callum Patterson (Ballymena) and Mark Keane (Instonians) opportunities at outside centre and on the right wing respectively.

Ross Kane has returned from injury and will provide forward cover on the bench along with John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Ricky Lutton, Stephen Mulholland and Chris Henry. Paul Marshall, Dave Shanahan and Callum Smith are the back-line options. Andrew Trimble has been ruled out with a troublesome knee injury.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Ian Madigan and Mike Ross will both start in a powerful looking Barbarians team named by head coach Vern Cotter. Out-half Madigan and retiring prop Ross are part of a heavyweight invitational side showing nine changes to the one beaten 28-14 by England last Sunday.

Cotter also fields what may be the biggest pack in the club’s 127-year history, weighing in at a combined 945kg. Giant Montpellier lock Paul Willemse has been added to the squad and starts in the second row with Argentina’s Patricio Albacete. Joe Tekori, a try scorer against England, is at blindside flanker alongside Thierry Dusautoir and Facundo Isa. Ross lines up with Corey Flynn and Pau’s Chris King in the front row.

The back-line is full of the Barbarians’ traditional attacking flair. France’s Rory Kockott comes in at scrum half to partner Madigan, Robbie Fruean and Waisea Nayacalevu are in the centre with Argentina’s Horacio Agulla and Castres’ David Smith on the wings, while England’s Alex Goode is at full back for the second time in five days.

Racing’s New Zealand flanker Chris Masoe is a late addition after a calf injury prevented Victor Vito from joining up with the Baa Baas squad in Belfast.

ULSTER: Peter Nelson; Mark Keane, Callum Patterson, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy; Brett Herron, Ruan Pienaar (co-capt); Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Rodney Ah You, Alan O’Connor, Peter Browne, Matthew Rea, Clive Ross, Roger Wilson (co-capt).

Replacements: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Ross Kane, Stephen Mulholland, Chris Henry, Paul Marshall, Dave Shanahan, Callum Smith, Ricky Lutton.

BARBARIANS: Alex Goode (Saracens/England); David Smith (Castres Olympique), Waisea Nayacalevu (Stade Francais/Fiji), Robbie Fruean (Bath), Horacio Agulla (Castres Olympique/Argentina); Ian Madigan (Bordeaux-Begles/Ireland), Rory Kockott (Castres Olympique/France); Chris King (Pau), Corey Flynn (Star/New Zealand), Mike Ross (Leinster/Ireland), Paul Willemse (Montpellier), Patricio Albacete (Toulouse/Argentina), Joe Tekori (Toulouse/Samoa), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse/France) (capt), Facundo Isa (Lyon/Argentina).

Replacements: Richard Hibbard (Gloucester/Wales), Vincent Pelo (La Rochelle/France), Census Johnston (Toulouse/Samoa), Jeremy Thrush (Gloucester/New Zealand), Chris Masoe (Racing 92/New Zealand), Kahn Fotuali’i (Bath/Samoa), Brock James (La Rochelle), Jean-Marcellin Buttin (Bordeaux-Begles/France).