Andrew Trimble ruled out as Ulster mix things up for Connacht clash
With just five days between fixtures, Ulster make six personnel changes for home tie
Les Kiss has made six changes, with just five days of recovery between matches. Photograph: Getty Images
Les Kiss has introduce six new faces into Ulster’s starting XV for the sold-out match against Connacht on Friday at Kingspan Stadium.
Five of the changes come in the forwards after a physical Champions Cup tie versus ASM Clermont Auvergne on Sunday.
Kieran Treadwell, who impressed off the bench in the back-to-back games against the French giants, has earned a start in the second row. Iain Henderson has been moved from blindside flanker to partner the youngster at lock.
There is just one newcomer in the backline as Jacob Stockdale, who made his European debut against Clermont at the weekend, is installed on the left wing. Louis Ludik is moved to the right wing berth and Charles Piutau will continue at fullback.
Stuart McCloskey, who will win his 50th Ulster cap on Friday evening, will again be joined in midfield by fellow international Luke Marshall. Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson start together in the half-back positions for the third consecutive match.
Andrew Trimble was unable to train fully this week and therefore was not available for selection.
Kiss has named an experienced replacements bench, which has accumulated 892 Ulster appearances.
The Ulster men currently occupy fifth position in the Guinness Pro12, with a game in hand on the teams above them, while Connacht are also in contention for a top four spot.
ULSTER: C Piutau; L Ludik, L Marshall, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; P Jackson, R Pienaar; A Warwick, R Best (captain), R Ah You; K Treadwell, I Henderson; C Ross, C Henry, R Wilson;
Replacements: R Herring, C Black, W Herbst, F van der Merwe, S Reidy, P Marshall, D Cave, T Bowe.