Iain Henderson returns for Ulster against Leicester Tigers

Keith Earls starts for Munster as Zebo moves to fullback

Ulster’s Iain Henderson will make his first start of the season against Leicester on Saturday. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho

Ulster’s Iain Henderson will make his first start of the season against Leicester on Saturday. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho

 

In one of eight Ulster changes Ireland international Iain Henderson has been named to start his first match of the season for Ulster against Leicester Tigers at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday.

The 22 year-old suffered a hip-injury in pre-season and comes back into the side at blindside flanker for their final European Champions Cup game. He will no doubt be looking to make up for lost time with impressing Irish head coach Joe Schmidt in mind.

Fellow Ireland Internationals Tommy Bowe, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy and Rory Best all return to the team having missed the defeat to Toulon in Stade Mayol last weekend.

The other changes see Ian Humphreys named at outhalf, Callum Black selected at loosehead and Wiehahn Herbst picked at tighthead. Regular outhalf Paddy Jackson is of course ruled out through injury.

Black, Best and Herbst form the new-look front row with Alan O’Connor and Franco van der Merwe continuing their partnership in the second-row. Henderson is joined in the back row by double try-scorer in Stade Mayol, Mike McComish, who starts at openside and Roger Wilson who continues at Number eight.

Ulster team: J Payne; T Bowe, D Cave, L Marshall, C Gilroy, I Humphreys, R Pienaar; C Black, R Best (captain), W Herbst, A O’Connor, F Van der Merwe, I Henderson, M McComish, R Wilson

Replacements: R Herring, A Warwick, B Ross, L Stevenson, C Ross, N McComb, P Marshall, M Allen.

Meanwhile Anthony Foley has made some alterations to his Munster team for their encounter with Sale. The injured Felix Jones is replaced at fullback by Simon Zebo, moving in from the wing as Ronan O’Mahony makes his European debut at 11.

Keith Earls starts in the centre off-the-back of last weekend’s appearance off the bench.

Munster Rugby: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Denis Hurley, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha, Dave Foley, Paul O’Connell, Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Peter O’Mahony

Replacements: Eusebio Guinazu, John Ryan, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Robin Copeland, Ivan Dineen, JJ Hanrahan, Pat Howard

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