Rory Best on the bench as Ulster name XV for La Rochelle
Winger Andrew Trimble is set to pass out Roger Wilson as Ulster’s most capped player
Rory Best is set to make his first appearance of the season on Sunday, off the bench. Photograph: Inpho
Andrew Trimble will become Ulster’s most capped player on Sunday when he lines out in the Champions Cup clash versus La Rochelle (Stade Marcel-Deflandre, 3.15pm Irish time).
The Coleraine native will earn his 222nd cap, surpassing the record of 221 that he currently shares with Roger Wilson. Trimble has scored 74 tries for the province since he made his competitive debut versus Cardiff Blues in September 2005.
Meanwhile, Robbie Diack could become just the third player to reach 200 Ulster appearances after he was named among the replacements by director of rugby, Les Kiss. The South African born forward moved to Belfast in the summer of 2008 and made his debut against Scarlets in September of that year.
Rory Best has also been included on the bench and is set to make his first appearance of the season after recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in training last month.
Iain Henderson, who captained Ulster for the first time during the 19-9 home win against Wasps last weekend, will again lead the side. He will line out in the backrow alongside Chris Henry, who has returned from a larynx injury, as well as number eight Sean Reidy.
Callum Black will join Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst in the front row, with Kieran Treadwell and Al O’Connor occupying the second row berths.
Paul Marshall will partner Christian Lealiifano at halfback, with Ireland internationals Stuart McCloskey and Darren Cave combining in midfield. Trimble will link up with Tommy Bowe and Charles Piutau in the back three.
Matty Rea could make his European debut if called upon from the bench, while Kyle McCall and Rodney Ah You will provide further forward cover along with Diack and Best.
John Cooney, Luke Marshall and Jacob Stockdale are also named in the squad and will offer plenty of attacking threats, should they be called upon.
Ulster: C Piutau; A Trimble, D Cave, S McCloskey, T Bowe; C Lealiifano, P Marshall; C Black, R Herring, W Herbst; K Treadwell, A O’Connor; I Henderson (capt), C Henry, S Reidy.
Replacements: R Best, K McCall, R Ah You, R Diack, M Rea, J Cooney, L Marshall, J Stockdale.