Ulster head coach Jono Gibbes has made two changes to the team for Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO14 round 16 match against the Scarlets in Llanelli (kick-off 7.35pm).
Ulster’s record caps holder, Andrew Trimble, will earn his 229th cap, as he is recalled to the starting line-up in place of the injured Craig Gilroy on the right wing.
The only other change to the side that suffered an agonising last-gasp 17-16 defeat to Edinburgh last Friday night, which moved them down to fourth in Conference B, sees John Andrew come in at hooker.
Alan O’Connor will captain the Ulstermen for the third game in a row alongside Kieran Treadwell in the second row, while props Andrew Warwick and Wiehahn Herbst complete the front five.
Nick Timoney, who topped the PRO14 tackle count last weekend, continues at openside flanker, as does Matthew Rea at blindside and South African Jean Deysel at number 8 in an unchanged back row.
Behind the scrum, John Cooney has been released from Ireland duty to play at scrum half, while Johnny McPhillips has recovered from a shoulder knock to take his place again at out-half.
The impressive international duo of Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall are also retained in midfield, with Tommy Bowe and full-back Louis Ludik joining Trimble in a very experienced back-three.
Rob Herring, Kyle McCall and Rodney Ah You will provide the front row back-up and Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy player Matthew Dalton and Chris Henry are the additional forward options. Paul Marshall, who is in line for his first appearance since December, Peter Nelson and Darren Cave provide the back-line cover from the bench.
ULSTER (v Scarlets): Louis Ludik; Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Tommy Bowe; Johnny McPhillips, John Cooney; Andrew Warwick, John Andrew, Wiehahn Herbst, Alan O’Connor (capt), Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, Nick Timoney, Jean Deysel.
Replacements: Rob Herring, Kyle McCall, Rodney Ah You, Matthew Dalton, Chris Henry, Paul Marshall, Peter Nelson, Darren Cave.