Tommy Bowe to return for Ulster against Zebre

Ireland winger to feature for the province for the first time since World Cup knee injury

Tommy Bowe is set to make his first Ulster appearance of the season against Zebre on Saturday.

Bowe missed Ireland’s Six Nations campaign after picking up a serious knee injury during the Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to Argentina.

But he returns to the domestic fold on Saturday as Les Kiss's side travel to the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi looking for a win to boost their chances of finishing in the Pro 12 top four.

Bowe starts on the right wing with Andrew Trimble unable to travel due to illness, and he is joined in the back three by Jared Payne and Craig Gilroy.


Stuart Olding starts in midfield alongside Luke Marshall instead of the injured Stuart McCloskey, while Paddy Jackson and Ruan Pienaar resume at halfback.

In the forwards Rory Best will captain the side from hooker, while Franco van der Merwe makes his 50th appearance for the province.

Ulster: J Payne; T Bowe, L Marshall, S Olding, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar;

C Black, R Best, R Lutton, P Browne, F van der Merwe, I Henderson, S Reidy, R Wilson. Replacements: R Herring, K McCall, A Warwick, R Diack, C Henry, P Marshall, D Cave, R Scholes.