Pienaar returns to Ulster squad
Heineken Cup squad news:Ulster welcome back South African scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar for their opening clash at home to Castres at Ravenhill on Friday night (8.0pm).
Pienaar was away on international duty with the Springboks for the inaugural Rugby Championship, but takes his place in an extended 27-man provisional squad. Lock Neil McComb and hooker Nigel Brady also return to the panel.
Ulster coach Mark Anscombe has included number eight Nick Williams despite the New Zealander suffering a rib injury in the 25-0 victory over Connacht last weekend. Williams is reported to be responding well to treatment and a decision on his fitness will be made later in the week.
Prop Declan Fitzpatrick aggravated a medial ligament injury in training last week and remains unavailable for selection.
Australian-born flanker, Sean Doyle, suffered a broken leg playing for Dungannon on Saturday and will be out for up to six weeks.
ULSTER (provisional squad v Castres) - Backs:Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall, Michael Heaney, Paddy Jackson, Paddy Wallace, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Andrew Trimble, Tommy Bowe, Craig Gilroy, Jared Payne.
Forwards:Rob Herring, Rory Best, Nigel Brady, Neil McComb, John Afoa, Tom Court, Adam Macklin, Callum Black, Johann Muller, Dan Tuohy, Lewis Stevenson, Stephen Ferris, Mike McComish, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Nick Williams.