Ulster make one change for Aironi trip

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has made only one change to the starting XV to face Aironi on Saturday at the Stadio Zaffanella (kick off 3pm local).

Tim Barker has replaced Lewis Stevenson in the second row, where he will partner Dan Tuohy. Stevenson drops to the bench as a result so there is no place for Neil McComb who has dropped out of the match day 23.

The pack is otherwise unchanged pack, with Paddy McAllister and Jerry Cronin joining Andi Kyriacou in the front row.
Chris Henry will again captain the side from number 8 alongside Willie Faloon and Pedrie Wannenburg in the back row.

McLaughlin will field the same backline that played against Glasgow last week, with Ian Whitten, who impressed out of position on the wing, retaining his place. He is joined in the back three by Craig Gilroy and Adam D’Arcy, with Darren Cave and Nevin Spence in the centres, and Paul Marshall and in Humphreys occupying the half back slots.

Declan Fitzpatrick has returned to action after suffering concussion during pre-season and has been named on the bench. Luke Marshall has also earned a place among the replacements at the expense of young Peter Henderson.

New signing Jared Payne arrived from New Zealand on Monday and will travel to Italy but has not been rushed into playing action.

Ulster played Aironi on four occasions last season and came away withfour wins, scoring 14 tries in the process and conceding just one. The Italians are still looking to add to their solo victory in this tournament, which was a home success over Connacht in March.

Ulster (15-9): A D’Arcy; C Gilroy, D Cave, N Spence, I Whitten; I Humphreys, P Marshall;
(1-8) P McAllister, A Kyriacou, J Cronin, T Barker, D Tuohy, P Wannenburg, W Faloon, C Henry;
Replacements (16-23): N Brady, D Fitzpatrick, A Macklin, L Stevenson, R Diack, I Porter, P Jackson, L Marshall


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