Charles Piutau among three Ulster debutants for Pro12 opener

Rodney Ah You is unavailable having suffered delayed onset concussive symptoms

Ulster’s Charles Piutau makes his first Pro12 start on Friday night. Photograph: Brian Little/Inpho

Ulster’s Charles Piutau makes his first Pro12 start on Friday night. Photograph: Brian Little/Inpho

 

Les Kiss has selected his match day squad for Friday’s Pro12 opener against Newport Gwent Dragons at Kingspan Stadium (7.35pm kick-off).

Academy prop Ross Kane, Charles Piutau and Brett Herron are in line to make their competitive debuts for the province, while Ireland internationals Craig Gilroy, Stuart Olding and Sean Reidy return to the team for the first time this season.

Rodney Ah You is unavailable for selection having suffered delayed onset concussive symptoms following Friday’s 29-19 win over Northampton Saints and he will now follow the concussion return to play protocol. With fellow tighthead props Wiehahn Herbst, Ricky Lutton and Jonny Simpson also injured, Kane has been elevated into a starting position.

The 21-year-old will be joined in in the front row by Callum Black and Rob Herring, who will again skipper the side from hooker. Pete Browne and Franco van der Merwe will continue their combination in the second row.

Reidy’s inclusion at openside flanker leads to a re-shuffle in the back row, with Clive Ross moving to blindside and Roger Wilson continuing at number eight.

Herron will partner Ruan Pienaar at half back, while Stuart McCloskey and Olding will form an exciting midfield partnership. Piutau, Gilroy and Ireland Under-20 star Jacob Stockdale will occupy the back three positions. Louis Ludik was unavailable for selection because of a hand injury picked up against Northampton.

ULSTER: C Piutau; C Gilroy, S Olding, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; B Herron, R Pienaar; C Black, R Herring (captain), R Kane, P Browne, F van der Merwe, C Ross, S Reidy, R Wilson.

Replacements: J Andrew, K McCall, A Warwick, A O’Connor, R Diack, P Marshall, S Windsor, R Lyttle.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.