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Luke Marshall Set For First Start In Ten Months

Luke Marshall Set For First Start In Ten Months

Luke Marshall swaps in at outside centre for Darren Cave in the Ulster team to play Glasgow Warriors on Friday night ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has finalised his team to take on Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium in round 19 of the GUINNESS PRO14 on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm). The province need a win to stay on course to finish second in the Conference B table.

Fit-again centre Luke Marshall, who made a try-scoring impact against Leinster last Saturday on his return from a long-term knee injury lay-off, comes in for his first start of the season in midfield where he will partner Stuart McCloskey.

Winger Robert Lyttle also returns to the starting XV, as he joins Jacob Stockdale and Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy livewire Michael Lowry in the back-three. Billy Burns and John Cooney, who kicked eight points in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final defeat, are retained once again at half-back.

Alan O’Connor will captain the side from the second row alongside Kieran Treadwell, with regular skipper Rory Best’s injury-enforced absence also seeing Rob Herring, Ulster’s top try scorer in the PRO14 this season with six tries, pack down at hooker in between Eric O’Sullivan and Martin Moore in the front row.

Sean Reidy, who made his 100th Ulster appearance on Saturday, starts at blindside flanker in the fifth and final personnel change, joining Jordi Murphy and Marcell Coetzee in an all-international trio of loose forwards.

John Andrew, Andrew Warwick and Tom O’Toole will cover the front row on the bench, with Ian Nagle and Matthew Rea named as the additional forward replacements. David Shanahan, Darren Cave, who yesterday announced his decision to retire at the end of the season, and Angus Kernohan will provide the back-line options.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that prop Wiehahn Herbst has taken up a contract with Vodacom Bulls in his native South Africa. The 30-year-old loosehead made 80 appearances for Ulster, including a second half appearance off the bench at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday.

ULSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Michael Lowry; Robert Lyttle, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Martin Moore, Alan O’Connor (Capt), Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Ian Nagle, Matthew Rea, David Shanahan, Darren Cave, Angus Kernohan.