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Cave To Earn Landmark 200th Cap For Ulster

Cave To Earn Landmark 200th Cap For Ulster

Darren Cave will become the sixth Ulster player to reach a double century of caps when the Ulstermen line out against Connacht at the Sportsground on Saturday night (kick-off 7.35pm).

Darren Cave, who made his first appearance for the province against the Border Reivers in April 2007, will start at inside centre. He will be partnered in midfield by Louis Ludik.

In the back-three, Andrew Trimble, one of the try scorers against Harlequins last week, returns to the starting XV on the left wing, with Craig Gilroy retained on the right and Jacob Stockdale shifting to full-back in place of Charles Piutau.

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Peter Nelson is named to start at out-half, alongside in-form scrum half John Cooney, who will make his first return to Galway since joining Ulster from Connacht last summer.

In the pack, there are starts for Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy pair Matthew Dalton and Nick Timoney in the second row and number 8 respectively. The 19-year-old Dalton is set for his first senior after two recent appearances off the bench.

Robbie Diack joins Dalton in the engine room, with captain Iain Henderson and Sean Reidy making up the back row with Timoney. In the front row, props Andrew Warwick and Wiehahn Herbst will scrum down either side of hooker John Andrew.

Former Ireland Under-20 out-half Johnny McPhillips, who has featured prominently in the Ulster ‘A’ team’s recent British & Irish Cup wins, is in line for his first senior appearance as he is included among the replacements.

Paul Marshall and Robert Lyttle will provide the additional back-line cover, while Adam McBurney, who scored four tries for Ulster ‘A’ against Hartpury last weekend, Schalk van der Merwe, Ross Kane, Matthew Rea and Clive Ross are the forward options on the bench.

ULSTER (v Connacht): Jacob Stockdale; Craig Gilroy, Louis Ludik, Darren Cave, Andrew Trimble; Peter Nelson, John Cooney; Andrew Warwick, John Andrew, Wiehahn Herbst, Matthew Dalton, Robbie Diack, Iain Henderson (capt), Sean Reidy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Schalk van der Merwe, Ross Kane, Matthew Rea, Clive Ross, Paul Marshall, Johnny McPhillips, Robert Lyttle.