The Ulster team to face Connacht in Friday’s GUINNESS PRO14 derby clash at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm) has been announced.
Tickets for the Ulster v Connacht round 6 match in Belfast are still available, including in the Grandstand, from www.ulsterrugby.com/buytickets.
Chris Henry returns to captain the side from the back row, where he will be joined by two robust ball carriers in Iain Henderson and Jean Deysel. Kyle McCall, Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst come in to occupy the front row positions, with Alan O’Connor and Kieran Treadwell pairing up in the second row.
John Cooney, the former Connacht scrum half who joined Ulster in the summer, and Christian Lealiifano are retained as the province’s half-backs and will steer an all-international back-line.
Stuart McCloskey is back in midfield alongside Luke Marshall, with Jacob Stockdale and Tommy Bowe selected on the wings and Charles Piutau at full-back.
John Andrew, Andrew Warwick and Rodney Ah You are the front row reserves this week, while Robbie Diack and Sean Reidy will provide Les Kiss with further forward options from the bench. Paul Marshall, Peter Nelson and Louis Ludik are the replacement backs.
Meanwhile, Ulster have confirmed that back rower Marcell Coetzee suffered a recurrence of left knee pain and swelling in training. Due to the ongoing problems with this knee, he is travelling back to South Africa to seek the opinion of the surgeon who performed his original ACL repair. Ulsterwill provide a further update following this consultation.
ULSTER (v Connacht): Charles Piutau; Tommy Bowe, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Christian Lealiifano, John Cooney; Kyle McCall, Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry (capt), Jean Deysel.
Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Rodney Ah You, Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy, Paul Marshall, Peter Nelson, Louis Ludik.