Anscombe hopes Ulster squad can ‘bounce back’ from defeat
Seven changes for homeside ahead of meeting with Glasgow Warriors at Ravenhill
Ulster’s Andrew Trimble is to undergo surgery on a finger injury and is out for four-to-six weeks. Photograph: Darren Griffiths/Presseye/Inpho
Head coach Mark Anscombe has been forced to plan without Ireland wing Andrew Trimble, who has suffered a finger injury and will undergo surgery tomorrow ahead of what is expected to be a lay-off of between four and six weeks.
His place on the right wing will be filled by David McIlwaine, while Darren Cave’s return to outside centre shifts with Luke Marshall to number 12. On the left wing Michael Allen will lineout, while Ian Porter is selected ahead of Paul Marhsall at scrumhalf.
Backrow Iain Henderson may make his first appearance of the season off the bench.
“A good squad is one that can respond to poor performances and bounce back,” said Anscombe today. “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.”
Glasgow will offer stiff competition, as they welcome Stuart Hogg, Ryan Grant, DTH van der Merwe and Josh Strauss back into the fold.
The Warriors, the last Scottish team to win at the Belfast venue (December 2009), won their opening fixture of the season against Cardiff at Scotstoun 22-15 and have British and Irish Lion Hogg returning at fullback, alongside record tryscorer van der Merwe.
Ruaridh Jackson has been promoted from the bench to start at outhalf, while captain Henry Pyrgos is named at scrumhalf. Outside them, Sean Lamont and Mark Bennett will combine at centre and, in the pack, prop Ryan Grant returns from Lions duty at loosehead.
“Although it wasn’t our most accurate performance last week, we were pleased to win our opening game against Cardiff Blues,” head coach Gregor Townsend said. “The players showed great resilience and ambition in the final quarter to deliver our first victory of the season.
“Our work in defence and in the contact area on Friday was positive and is something we can build on going into our game against Ulster. We are well aware of the strengths of our opponents and their home record, so we will have to be close to our best at Ravenhill.
“Our games against Ulster last season were very competitive and I see Friday’s contest following a similar pattern.”
Ulster (v Glasgow): J Payne; D McIlwaine, D Cave, L Marshall, M Allen; P Jackson, I Porter; C Black, R Herring, D Fitzpatrick; J Muller (captain), D Tuohy; R Wilson, S Doyle, N Williams. Replacements: N Annett, T Court, R Lutton, I Henderson, C Henry, P Marshall, J McKinney, R Andrew.
Glasgow (v Ulster): S Hogg; T Seymour, S Lamont, M Bennett, DTH van der Merwe; Ruaridh Jackson, Henry Pyrgos (captain); R Grant, P MacArthur, E Kalman; T Swinson, J Gray; R Harley, T Holmes, J Strauss. Replacements: D Hall, G Reid, M Low, J Eddie, C Fusaro, R Vernon, C Cusiter, G Ascarate