The Ulster ‘A’ team has been announced for the British & Irish Cup round 4 rematch with Hartpury at Ballymena RFC’s Eaton Park ground on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm).
Coaches Kieran Campbell and Willie Anderson have made just two personnel changes to the side that snatched a late 29-24 win over the same English Championship opposition in the first meeting last weekend.
Both changes come in a reshuffled back-line that sees Ballymena clubmen Angus Kernohan and Brett Herron start on the right wing and at inside centre respectively.
There are three other positional switches as David Busby, Jack Owens and Robert Lyttle shift to the left wing, outside centre and full-back respectively. Half-backs Jonny Stewart and Johnny McPhillips, who were two of the province’s best performers in round 3, are retained.
The Ulster ‘A’ pack, which operated well against an imposing Hartpury eight last week, also remains unchanged. There is a youthful presence up front with no less than five Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy players included – hooker Adam McBurney, tighthead prop Tom O’Toole, lock Matthew Dalton, openside flanker Aaron Hall and number 8 Greg Jones, who will once again captain the side.
Rainey Old Boys regular Tommy O’Hagan starts at loosehead prop, with Peter Browne and Clive Ross adding considerable experience to the second row and back row respectively.
Zack McCall, Eric O’Sullivan, Caleb Montgomery and Matthew Agnew make up the forward options from the hosts’ bench, while Dave Shanahan, Stewart Moore and Aaron Cairns provide the back-line cover as Ulster ‘A’ go in search of their third win in four pool games.
ULSTER ‘A’ (v Hartpury): Robert Lyttle; Angus Kernohan, Jack Owens, Brett Herron, David Busby; 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, Caleb Montgomery, Matthew Agnew, Dave Shanahan, Stewart Moore, Aaron Cairns.