Chris Henry captains Ulster for visit of reigning champions
Luke Marshall, Kyle McCall and Alan O’Connor also come in to face Scarlets
Chris Henry will captain Ulster on Friday night. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton/Inpho
Chris Henry returns to the Ulster XV and will captain the side for Friday’s Pro14 clash against Scarlets at Kingspan Stadium, which will be played five years to the day since former Ulster player Nevin Spence passed away, along with his father Noel and brother Graham.
Luke Marshall, Kyle McCall and Alan O’Connor also come in to start against the reigning competition champions.
The latter pair will join Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst and Kieran Treadwell in the front five, while Ulster were forced into a late change to the team when Jean Deysel was withdrawn after sustaining a minor eye injury in training. Matty Rea will now start on the blindside flank and Sean Reidy moves to number eight, with skipper henry making up the backrow. Clive Ross has been added to the replacements.
John Cooney, man of the match in Saturday’s win versus Benetton Rugby, will line out at scrumhalf with Christian Lealiifano again named as his half back partner. Marshall comes in to wear the number 13 jersey, outside Stuart McCloskey in an Irish international midfield.
There are no changes to the back three as Andrew Trimble, who crossed for two tries against the Italians last weekend, is retained alongside Jacob Stockdale and Louis Ludik.
Ballymena RFC clubmen John Andrew, Andy Warwick and Matty Rea, who earned his first start last week, are named among the replacements with fellow forwards Rodney Ah You and Robbie Diack.
ULSTER: Louis Ludik; Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Christian Lealiifano, John Cooney; Kyle McCall, Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst; Kieran Treadwell, Alan O’Connor; Matthew Rea, Chris Henry (captain), Sean Reidy.
Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Rodney Ah You, Robbie Diack, Clive Ross, Paul Marshall, Peter Nelson, Tommy Bowe.