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RaboDirect PRO12 Preview: Ulster v Glasgow Warriors

RaboDirect PRO12 Preview: Ulster v Glasgow Warriors

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe will want a big response from his charges when they entertain Glasgow Warriors at the new-look Ravenhill, a week after they fell to the Dragons in their RaboDirect PRO12 opener.

RABODIRECT PRO12: Friday, September 13

ULSTER (8th) v GLASGOW WARRIORS (4th), Ravenhill, 7.05pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/BBC ALBA)

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Team News: Ireland winger Andrew Trimble has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a finger injury as Ulster name their team for the RaboDirect PRO12 match against Glasgow Warriors at Ravenhill on Friday.

Trimble will have surgery on Friday morning and is expected to be out for between four and six weeks.

Head coach Mark Anscombe has made seven personnel and two positional changes to the team that lost to the Newport Gwent Dragons last weekend.

David McIlwaine starts on the right wing in place of Trimble, while Darren Cave returns to the back-line at outside centre with Luke Marshall moving inside to the number 12 spot.

Michael Allen is selected on the left wing, with Ian Porter picked at scrum half in place of Paul Marshall who is named on the replacements bench.

Declan Fitzpatrick has been chosen to start at tighthead prop, while in the back row Roger Wilson moves from number 8 to blindside flanker, Sean Doyle is named at openside flanker with Nick Williams starting at Number 8.

Iain Henderson is named amongst the reserves and will make his first appearance for Ulster this season if he comes on.

A limited number of tickets for the match are still available and can be purchased via www.ulsterrugby.com/tickets. Ulster v Glasgow Warriors will be shown live on BBC 2 Northern Ireland and on the BBC Sport NI website.

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors boss Gregor Townsend has made eight changes to the team that defeated Cardiff Blues 22-15 at Scotstoun Stadium last Friday.

With Stuart Hogg and Ryan Grant featuring in the side following their involvement in the Lions tour over the summer, Townsend hopes the team selected will be able to combat the threat of Ulster on their home patch.

Hogg makes his first start at full-back since representing the Lions in Australia over the summer. The club’s record try scorer DTH van der Merwe comes in on the left wing and last week’s try scorer, Tommy Seymour, starts against his former side on the right.

Sean Lamont and Mark Bennett will combine in the centre with Ruaridh Jackson promoted from the bench to start at out-half and Henry Pyrgos, who captains the Warriors in the absence of Al Kellock (leg), wearing the number nine jersey.

In the pack Grant returns from Lions duty at loosehead prop, with hooker Pat MacArthur and tighthead prop Ed Kalman keeping their places in the front row.

Scotland Under-20 captain Jonny Gray replaces the injured Kellock and he will combine with Tim Swinson in the engine room.

Josh Strauss returns at number 8, with Tyrone Holmes set to make his first competitive start for the club at openside flanker, while Rob Harley keeps his place on the blindside.

ULSTER: Jared Payne; David McIlwaine, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Michael Allen; Paddy Jackson, Ian Porter; Callum Black, Rob Herring, Declan Fitzpatrick, Johann Muller (capt), Dan Tuohy, Roger Wilson, Sean Doyle, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Niall Annett, Tom Court, Ricky Lutton, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Paul Marshall, James McKinney, Ricky Andrew.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Sean Lamont, Mark Bennett, DTH van der Merwe; Ruaridh Jackson, Henry Pyrgos (capt); Ryan Grant, Pat MacArthur, Ed Kalman, Tim Swinson, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Tyrone Holmes, Josh Strauss.

Replacements: Dougie Hall, Gordon Reid, Moray Low, James Eddie, Chris Fusaro, Richie Vernon, Chris Cusiter, Gabriel Ascarate.

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Gary Conway, Kevin Beggs (both Ireland)
Television Match Official: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

Match Odds (Paddy Power): Ulster to win: 2/5; Draw: 22/1; Glasgow Warriors to win: 15/8

Pre-Match Quotes: Mark Anscombe (Ulster) – “Glasgow have a strong squad so we now they are one of the teams to watch this year. It does not get any easier and we are up for a tough one on Friday night.

“Things did not go as we obviously planned last week, we simply did not front up nor did we preform. There were a lot of contributing factors to the overall end result, but crucially for us we did not play well and that is what we had to recognise.

“But at the same time we were a good team last year, we finished top and we have not become a bad team just because of one defeat.

“There were certain facets we did not do well on last week, but we just did not use our set piece as well as we could and the quality of the ball from that set piece was poor. It did not give us our launch pad as was required.

“A good squad is one that can respond to poor performances and bounce back. What we have to do is to right the wrongs and get our accuracy a bit better than it was last week. If we can get that right then we can get a reasonable performance.

“The guys are excited about getting back to Belfast and the new-look Ravenhill, we have to make sure we use it to our advantage.”

Gregor Townsend (Glasgow Warriors) – “It was great to start the RaboDirect PRO12 with a win last week but we picked up a few injuries.

“We know we need to improve, especially because we’re about to play the two best teams in the league last season in the shape of Ulster and Leinster.

“It’s great to have the depth in the squad that allows us to bring two British & Irish Lions into the team. Stuart (Hogg) and Ryan (Grant) have taken part in pre-season training for the last six weeks and are itching to get going.

 “No Scottish team has won in Ulster for the last four years which shows how tough a place it is to go.

“Last season, we were ahead going into the last 10 minutes but didn’t manage to see out the win which was disappointing.

“We have a very good away record and we’re looking forward to playing at Ravenhill once again, as there’s always a great atmosphere and hopefully our players thrive off it.”

Top Scorers – 2013/14 RaboDirect PRO12: Ulster – Points: Roger Wilson 5; Tries: Roger Wilson 1; Glasgow Warriors – Points: Scott Wight, Mark Bennett 6 each; Tries: Tommy Seymour 1


Friday, October 1, 2010 – Ulster 19 Glasgow Warriors 17, Ravenhill
Friday, March 25, 2011 – Glasgow Warriors 19 Ulster 22, Firhill Stadium
Friday, September 2, 2011 – Ulster 28 Glasgow Warriors 14, Ravenhill
Friday, November 25, 2011 – Glasgow Warriors 17 Ulster 9, Firhill Stadium
Friday, August 31, 2012 – Ulster 18 Glasgow Warriors 10, Ravenhill
Friday, February 22, 2013 – Glasgow Warriors 20 Ulster 14, Scotstoun Stadium


– Ulster have now lost their last two RaboDirect PRO12 matches but have not lost three in-a-row since the end of the 2011/12 season

– The Ulstermen’s only home defeat in the league last season came when the Ospreys visited Ravenhill in early February

– No Scottish side has won in Belfast since Glasgow were the visitors in December 2009

– The Warriors beat Cardiff Blues 22-15 at Scotstoun Stadium last Friday evening and are looking to begin their campaign with a pair of victories for the first time since the 2009/10

– The Warriors have won three of their last five matches against Irish provinces. The two sides met on four occasions last season, twice in the RaboDirect PRO12 and twice in Europe with Glasgow’s only victory being a 20-14 league success at Scotstoun in February

– Glasgow have been defeated on their last four visits to Ravenhill in all competitions