Jared Payne returns for Ulster against Saracens

Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson occupy the half back positions for Saturday’s game

Jared Payne will start at fullback for Ulster in Saturday's Champions Cup game against Saracens at Allianz Park.

The Ireland international will be making his first appearance of the season for the Province after overcoming a foot injury he picked up during last year’s Rugby World Cup.

He is joined in the back three by Craig Gilroy and Andrew Trimble, who earned his 200th Ulster cap against Munster a fortnight ago. Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall continue their impressive partnership in midfield, while influential pair Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson occupy the half back positions.

Kyle McCall, man of the match and Kingspan MVP in Sunday’s 23-24 win over Oyonnax, is named in the front row alongside captain Rory Best and Wiehahn Herbst, who has recovered from a calf strain.


Franco van der Merwe and Alan O’Connor will reunite in the second row, with Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy and Roger Wilson selected in the back row. Chris Henry has been ruled out with a slight shoulder injury.

Rob Herring, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Lewis Stevenson and Clive Ross are providing cover for the forwards, while Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys and Rory Scholes are the backline replacements.

Ulster: J Payne; A Trimble, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar; K McCall, R Best (captain), W Herbst; A O'Connor, F van der Merwe; R Diack, S Reidy, R Wilson.

Replacements: R Herring, C Black, R Lutton, L Stevenson, C Ross, P Marshall, I Humphreys, R Scholes.