Ulster ‘A’ coaches Kieran Campbell and Willie Anderson have named their team for the British & Irish Cup round 3 trip to Hartpury on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2.30pm).
The Ulster ‘A’ team features six changes to the starting XV from their 23-14 loss to Cornish Pirates last time out, as the Ulstermen look forward to back-to-back clashes with Hartpury, the bottom-placed side in Pool 5.
In the front row, props Tommy O’Hagan and Tom O’Toole will make their first appearances of the campaign, with Ballymena’s Adam McBurney continuing at hooker. Peter Browne and 19-year-old Abbey Insurance Academy player Matthew Dalton, who earned his first senior cap against Benetton Rugby last month, pair up in the second row.
Dalton’s Academy colleagues Aaron Hall and Greg Jones, who also made their senior debuts in the recent GUINNESS PRO14 win over Benetton, will start at openside flanker and number 8 respectively, with Jones captaining the side. Clive Ross is the other loose forward.
Behind the scrum, current Ireland Under-20 international Jonny Stewart is joined at half-back by Johnny McPhillips, who has been impressing in the colours of Ballynahinch of late. Rory Butler and Callum Patterson resume their centre partnership, with Robert Lyttle, who replaces Craig Gilroy on the wing, David Busby and Jack Owens making up a fleet-footed back-three.
Zack McCall, Eric O’Sullivan, John McCusker and Marcus Rea are the forward options on the province’s bench, while Aaron Cairns, David Shanahan and Angus Kernohan, who has caught the eye in recent outings with Ballymena, provide the back-line cover.
ULSTER ‘A’ (v Hartpury): Jack Owens; David Busby, Callum Patterson, Rory Butler, Robert Lyttle; Johnny McPhillips, Jonny Stewart; Tommy O’Hagan, Adam McBurney, Tom O’Toole, Peter Browne, Matthew Dalton, Clive Ross, Aaron Hall, Greg Jones (capt).
Replacements: Zack McCall, Eric O’Sullivan, John McCusker, Marcus Rea, Aaron Cairns, David Shanahan, Angus Kernohan.