Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has confirmed the team for Sunday’s GUINNESS PRO14 encounter with the Isuzu Southern Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth (kick-off 2.15pm local time/1.15pm Irish time).
There are three changes to the side that edged out Edinburgh right at the death, as Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor and Sean Reidy are all recalled to the starting pack, while the starting backs are set for their third consecutive run-out together.
Tighthead O’Toole, who turns 20 on Sunday week, has recovered from a concussion suffered against the Scarlets in round 1 and takes his place in the front row alongside Andrew Warwick and captain Rob Herring. O’Connor joins Kieran Treadwell in the engine room, with Reidy, Marcell Coetzee and Nick Timoney selected as the back row trio.
Billy Burns and John Cooney, the province’s goal-kicking hero against both the Scarlets and Edinburgh, continue in the half-back positions, while Darren Cave and Stuart McCloskey, who has made a strong start to the new season, are again paired together in midfield.
Craig Gilroy, who became Ulster’s record try scorer in PRO14 Rugby last weekend with his 51st try, is named on the right wing and Henry Speight is on the opposite flank. Will Addison, who set a new Ulster record with 28 carries against Edinburgh, continues full-back.
Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan and Wiehahn Herbst will provide front row cover, with Jean Deysel and Matthew Rea listed as the other forward replacements. The Ireland Under-20-capped trio of David Shanahan, Angus Curtis and Angus Kernohan, who have been on bench duty for the opening two rounds, will again provide cover for the backs.
ULSTER (v Isuzu Southern Kings): Will Addison; Craig Gilroy, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Henry Speight; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring (capt), Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Marcell Coetzee, Sean Reidy, Nick Timoney.
Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Wiehahn Herbst, Jean Deysel, Matthew Rea, David Shanahan, Angus Curtis, Angus Kernohan.