Cooney in but Coetzee out as Ulster travel to Toulouse
Ireland scrumhalf returns to starting XV but number eight is absent from matchday 23
John Cooney will start for Ulster in Toulouse. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Champions Cup quarter-finals: Toulouse v Ulster, Sunday September 20th, Stade Ernest Wallon (kick-off 12.30pm, Virgin Media One, Channel 4, BT Sport 3).
John Cooney returns to the Ulster starting line-up for Sunday’s Champions Cup quarter-final with Toulouse, however number eight Marcell Coetzee will miss the daunting trip to the south of France.
Cooney missed last week’s Pro14 final defeat to Leinster, and he slots back into the halfbacks alongsde Billy Burns.
The rest of Dan McFarland’s back line remains unchanged with Jacob Stockdale resuming on the wing and Michael Lowry starting at fullback.
Up front Jack McGrath starts at loosehead, with Rob Herring and hooker and Tom O’Toole at tighthead. Iain Henderson continues in the engine room alongside Alan O’Connor.
In the backrow, Nick Timoney comes into the side at number eight to replace Coetzee, with Sean Reidy and Jordi Murphy as flankers.
Ulster: Michael Lowry; Rob Lyttle, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole; Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (capt); Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney. Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Kieran Treadwell, Alby Mathewson, Matt Faddes, Matthew Rea.
Toulouse: Thomas Ramos; Yoann Huget, Sofiane Guitoune, Pita Ahki, Cheslin Kolbe; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupon; Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Charlie Faumuina; Rory Arnold, Joe Tekori, Jerome Kaino (capt), Francois Cros, Selevasio Tolofua. Replacements: Julien Marchand, Rodrigue Neti, Dorian Aldegheri, Emmanuel Meafou, Alban Placines, Zack Holmes, Alexi Bales, Matthis Lebel.