Ulster round off their pre-season friendly programme with a home game against Harlequins at Ravenhill this Friday evening, kick off 7.30pm.
With it now confirmed that nine Ulster players will represent four different countries at Rugby World Cup 2011, the Ulster Coaching staff will view this Friday’s game very much in the context of the start of the RaboDirect Pro12 next week.
With Captain Johann Muller and Vice-Captain Rory Best both New Zealand bound, Chris Henry will take charge of the Ulster side during the World Cup period and will lead the team this Friday.
As expected, Brian McLaughlin has used the pre-season friendlies to rotate his squad and only props Paddy McAllister and Jerrry Cronin and the second row partnership of Lewis Stevenson and Neil McComb are retained this week from the youthful Ulster side that defeated Neath 15-34 last Friday.
Ian Humphreys and Nevin Spence will get their first taste of match action this Friday having each recovered from shoulder surgery while Dan Tuohy is named amongst the replacements, fit again after a severe hamstring tear sustained against the Dragons last May.
Ulster (15-9): A D’Arcy; C Gaston, D Cave, N Spence, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, P Marshall; (1-8)P McAllister, A Kyriacou, J Cronin, L Stevenson, N McComb, P Wannenburg, W Faloon, C Henry (Captain)Replacements: N Brady, C Black, A Macklin, T Barker, D Tuohy, R Diack, I Porter, P Jackson, I Whitten, L Marshall, P Nelson