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Ludik Slots Back In For Ulster’s Swansea Trip

Ludik Slots Back In For Ulster’s Swansea Trip

Louis Ludik makes a break during Ulster's Heineken Champions Cup home win over Harlequins in early December ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Louis Ludik has returned from an ankle ligament injury to start for Ulster when they face the Ospreys in the GUINNESS PRO14 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 5.15pm).

Ludik will start on the left wing and is joined in the back-three by full-back Matt Faddes and Robert Baloucoune, who rejoins the Ulster squad following his involvement in the development group which trained alongside the Ireland Six Nations squad.

Stuart McCloskey has been released from the Ireland squad to get game-time and is paired with Luke Marshall in midfield. Billy Burns has also been released from Six Nations camp and will start at half-back alongside David Shanahan.

Martin Moore has recovered from an ankle injury to feature in the front row along with Eric O’Sullivan and Adam McBurney, while Ulster centurion Alan O’Connor captains the team as part of a second row partnership with Kieran Treadwell.

Matthew Rea and Sean Reidy, who have both signed two-year contract extensions with the province, start in the back row alongside lynchpin number 8 Marcell Coetzee.

Jack McGrath and Tom O’Toole, who are also part of Ireland’s extended Six Nations squad, are named among the replacement forwards along with John Andrew, David O’Connor and Jordi Murphy. Providing back-line cover are 21-year-old scrum half Jonny Stewart, Bill Johnston and Craig Gilroy.

ULSTER (v Ospreys): Matt Faddes; Robert Baloucoune, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Louis Ludik; Billy Burns, David Shanahan; Eric O’Sullivan, Adam McBurney, Martin Moore, Alan O’Connor (capt), Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: John Andrew, Jack McGrath, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, Jordi Murphy, Jonny Stewart, Bill Johnston, Craig Gilroy.