Ireland captain Rory Best returns to Ulster starting XV
Tommy Bowe is on the bench and in line to make first appearance in almost five months
Ulster’s Rory Best made his return against Glasgow, and now starts this weekend. Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho
Ireland captain Rory Best will make his first start of the season when Ospreys visit Kingspan Stadium on Saturday evening.
There are eight changes in total to the Ulster side who started last week’s 17-22 win over Glasgow in Scotstoun, as Director of Rugby Les Kiss continues to manage his playing resources during what is a hectic fixture schedule.
Best, who played 35 minutes against Glasgow last Friday, will be joined in the front row by the returning Kyle McCall and Rodney Ah You, who has impressed at tight-head in the opening rounds.
Franco van der Merwe will captain the side in the absence of Rob Herring and Andrew Trimble, who will sit out this week due to a foot injury. Franco will be joined in the second row by Alan O’Connor for the second week in succession.
ULSTER: C Piutau; C Gilroy, J Payne, D Cave, L Ludik; P Jackson, P Marshall; K McCall, R Best, R Ah You; A O’Connor, F van der Merwe; I Henderson, S Reidy, R Wilson.
Replacements: J Andrew, C Black, R Kane, K Treadwell, R Diack, R Pienaar, B Herron, T Bowe.