Louis Ludik will earn his 100th Ulster cap on Friday night when the province host the Scarlets in round 7 of the GUINNESS PRO14 at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm).
Ludik, a firm fans’ favourites who made his debut against the same opposition in September 2014, will start at full-back. He is joined in the back-three by the returning Craig Gilroy and Robert Baloucoune, who is set for his first start of the season.
Matt Faddes and Bill Johnston are the other changes to the back-line, with versatile New Zealander Faddes linking up with Stuart McCloskey in midfield and Tipperary native Johnston partnering John Cooney at half-back.
The Ulstermen’s front row remains unchanged as props Eric O’Sullivan and Martin Moore prepare to scrum down again with stand-in captain Rob Herring at hooker.
Kieran Treadwell is one of two changes among the forwards, coming in alongside Alan O’Connor in the second row. Matthew Rea returns at blindside flanker, while the versatile Sean Reidy moves to openside, and Marcell Coetzee remains at number 8.
Summer signing David O’Connor, brother of Alan, is set to earn his maiden Ulster cap off the bench. Adam McBurney, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole and Nick Timoney will provide the other forward options for head coach Dan McFarland.
David Shanahan, who is poised to reach the 50-cap milestone, Angus Curtis and Angus Kernohan will cover the back-line. Match tickets are available, priced from £17 for adults and £12 for juniors, at ulsterrugby.com/buytickets.
ULSTER (v Scarlets): Louis Ludik, Robert Baloucoune, Matt Faddes, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy, Bill Johnston, John Cooney; Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring (capt), Martin Moore, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy, Marcell Coetzee.
Replacements: Adam McBurney, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, Nick Timoney, David Shanahan, Angus Curtis, Angus Kernohan.