Ulster coach Mark Anscombe has named 20 year old back row Iain Henderson in his starting 15 for Friday night’s clash with Castres Olympique at Ravenhill. Kick off 8.00pm
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Henderson will make his home debut for the Ulstermen as a replacement for the injured Nick Williams who picked up a rib injury in last weekend’s 25-0 win over Connacht.
Stephen Ferris will switch to the back of the scrum to allow Henderson to come in at blindside flanker, while the rest of the team remains the same as last Friday’s.
Henderson spoke with excitement about the opportunity to enjoy European rugby on a Friday night at Ravenhill.
“I can’t wait. I’ve been watching games at Ravenhill since I was a kid and I’m really looking forward to pulling on the white jersey and experiencing the atmosphere as a player,” he said.
“My first aim for the season was to be involved in a few PRO12 games but with the few injuries that we have in the back row, I’ve been given an opportunity and I have to try and grab it with both hands.
“Castres are a very physical team but they also throw the ball wide and have an expansive kicking game. That should make for a tough, but entertaining game. We’ll have to work really hard to nullify their threats.”
Tommy Bowe is also in line to play his first Heineken Cup game for his province since returning from Ospreys.
Ulster XV(15-9): J Payne; T Bowe, D Cave, P Wallace, A Trimble; P Jackson, P Marshall; (1-8): T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (c), D Tuohy, I Henderson, C Henry, S Ferris;
Replacements (16-23): R Herring, C Black, A Macklin, L Stevenson, M McComish, R Pienaar, L Marshall, C Gilroy.