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Herring ‘Massively Proud’ To Reach Ulster 200-Cap Milestone

Herring ‘Massively Proud’ To Reach Ulster 200-Cap Milestone

Rob Herring controls the ball at the back of an Ulster maul during their bonus point win away to Zebre in Parma ©INPHO/Massimiliano Carnabuci

Hooker Rob Herring will become the seventh player to reach the 200-appearance milestone for the Ulster when they host Benetton Rugby at Kingspan Stadium on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm).

Tickets for the United Rugby Championship game, priced from £20 for adults and £10 for juniors, are still available at ulsterrugby.com/buytickets.

Herring features in the front row alongside Andrew Warwick and fellow Ireland international Tom O’Toole. Sam Carter comes in at lock to partner Alan O’Connor, also resuming the captaincy role.

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Speaking about what it means to him to become a double centurion at the province, Herring said: “It’s a great feeling. It’s something I will be pretty proud of. I’ve played with all the guys who made 200 appearances during my time here.

“They’re legends of Ulster and to get anywhere near them isn’t something I thought I would achieve when I first signed for the province. It’s been an incredible journey and I’m enjoying it so far.

“I’m massively proud to get that milestone. A lot of people around me have made sacrifices for me to be in this position and I want to do them justice.

“Hopefully I’ll win something with Ulster over the next few years. That has become a major goal for the team and for me. That’s something that really drives me on with Ulster.”

Matthew Rea and the in-form Nick Timoney fill the flanker berths, and former Ireland Under-20 captain David McCann completes the starting pack at number 8.

The back-line that started last Saturday against Zebre has been retained by head coach Dan McFarland. Will Addison is selected again at full-back with Ethan McIlroy and Craig Gilroy on the wings.

James Hume and Stewart Moore will form the centre partnership, and Billy Burns and talented teenager Nathan Doak – the player-of-the-match in Parma – continue together at half-back.

The replacement forwards will be Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Ross Kane, Mick Kearney and Sean Reidy, and the back-line options are David Shanahan, Michael Lowry and Ireland Sevens international Ben Moxham.

ULSTER (v Benetton Rugby): Will Addison; Craig Gilroy, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Ethan McIlroy; Billy Burns, Nathan Doak; Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter (capt), Matthew Rea, Nick Timoney, David McCann.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Ross Kane, Mick Kearney, Sean Reidy, David Shanahan, Michael Lowry, Ben Moxham.