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Ulster Side For Dragons Game Shows Seven Changes

Ulster Side For Dragons Game Shows Seven Changes

Stewart Moore is pictured on his way to scoring a try against the Scarlets earlier in the season ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Jacob Stockdale moves to full-back for Ulster’s Guinness PRO14 duel with the Dragons at the Principality Stadium on Saturday night (kick-off 7.35pm).

There are seven personnel changes to the team that lost 38-19 to Leinster, with Craig Gilroy, Rob Lyttle, Stewart Moore and Alby Mathewson brought back into the back-line.

In a couple of notable positional switches, Stockdale reverts to full-back and the versatile Michael Lowry takes over at out-half from the benched Ian Madigan.

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Ross Kane, Academy back rower David McCann and Sean Reidy have been added to the starting pack, which is led this week by stand-in captain Alan O’Connor.

O’Connor has Kieran Treadwell for company again in the engine room, tighthead Kane joins John Andrew and Eric O’Sullivan in the front row, and Nick Timoney shifts to number 8, with the flanker positions manned by McCann and Reidy.

Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Gareth Milasinovich, Cormac Izuchukwu and Matthew Rea make up the forward options on the bench, and David Shanahan, Madigan and Ethan McIlroy offer back-line cover.

Speaking about Ulster’s approach to the rest of the season, head coach Dan McFarland said: “We have two games left in the round robin (of the PRO14) and we have nothing external to gain from this.

“We have qualified for Europe and the way the league is formatted we can play in a play-off, but there are plenty of things to gain from the next two games.

“There is probably an opportunity for a couple of guys to come in and have a go, we certainly have a few battered bodies after last weekend. There’s an opportunity for a couple of guys to step in who have earned it on merit.”

ULSTER (v Dragons): Jacob Stockdale; Craig Gilroy, Stewart Moore, Stuart McCloskey, Rob Lyttle; Michael Lowry, Alby Mathewson; Eric O’Sullivan, John Andrew, Ross Kane, Alan O’Connor (capt), Kieran Treadwell, David McCann, Sean Reidy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Gareth Milasinovich, Cormac Izuchukwu, Matthew Rea, David Shanahan, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.