Pienaar and Diack return for Ulster

Connacht coach Pat Lam makes three changes to the team that play Zebre

Ruan Pienaar. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Presseye/Inpho

Ruan Pienaar. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Presseye/Inpho

 

Mark Anscombe has made two changes to the Ulster side for their Heineken Cup clash with Montpellier tomorrow (3.40). Ruan Pienaar, who came on as a replacement in the win over the Leicester Tigers starts in place of Paul Marshall at scrumhalf.

Nick Williams calf injury sees Roger Wilson move to number eight and Robbie Diack come in on the flank. John Afoa is named among the replacements and should see competitive action for the first time this season.

Meanwhile Connacht coach Pat Lam has made three personnel changes to the team that started against Saracens last week for the trip to Zebre (1.35).

In the backs, Matt Healy returns to his starting berth on the wing while Samoan international James So’oialo is named at fullback. The 24-year-old versatile back was brought on at inside centre last week at the Sportsground for his first Connacht appearance.

Up front, Galway-born Andrew Browne replaces the injured John Muldoon at blindside flanker. Dave McSharry makes a return to competitive rugby this weekend.

The 24-year-old centre, who earned his first Ireland Wolfhounds cap last season, made the return to match fitness in recent weeks. He has played for both his club UCD and the Connacht Eagles in the past fortnight. His last game for Connacht came against Zebre in January’s Heineken Cup pool game.

Ulster: J Payne; A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, T Bowe; P Jackson, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, D Fitzpatrick; J Muller (capt), D Tuohy; R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson. Replacements: R Herring, C Black, J Afoa, L Stevenson, I Henderson, P Marshall, S Olding, M Allen.

Montpellier: 15. Anthony Floch, 14. Timoci Nagusa, 13. Anthony Tuitavke, 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Yoan Audrin, 10. Francois Trinh-Duc, 9. Jonathan Pelissie, 1. Yvan Watremez, 2. Mickael Ivaldi, 3. Maximiliano Bustos, 4. Jim Hamilton, 5. Thibaut Privat, 6. Fulgence Ouedraogo (capt), 7. Mamuka Gorgodze, 8. Kelian Galletier. Replacements: 16. Thomas Bianchin, 17. Mikheil Nariashvili, 18. Nicolas Mas, 19. fred Quercy, 20. Robins Tchale Watchou, 21. Benoit Paillaugue, 22. Thomas Combezou, 23. Benoit Sicart.

Connacht: J So’oialo; D Poolman, R Henshaw, C Ronaldson, M Healy; D Parks, K Marmion; B Wilkinson, S Henry, R Ah You; M Swift (capt), C Clarke; A Browne, J Heenan, G Naoupu. Replacements: J Harris-Wright, JP Cooney, Ronan Loughney, A Muldowney, M Fifita, P O’Donohoe, D McSharry, G Duffy.

Zebre: 15. Ruggero Trevisan, 14. Dion Berryman, 13. Tommaso Iannone, 12. Gonzalo Garcia, 11. David Odiete, 10. Luciano Orquera, 9. Brendon Leonard, 1. Matias Aguero, 2. Tommaso D’Apice , 3. Dario Chistolini, 4. Mike Van Vuren, 5. Marco Bortolami (capt), 6. Mauro Bergamasco, 7. Dries van Schalkwyk, 8. Samu Vunisa. Replacements: 16. Davide Giazzon, 17. Andrea de Marchi, 18. Luciano Leibson, 19. Emiliano Caffini, 20. Filippo Cristiano, 21. Alberto Chillon, 22. Kameli Ratuvou, 23. Leonardo Sarto,