Ulster and Connacht welcome back Ireland heavyweights

Rory Best, Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne and Robbie Henshaw all to start in Pro 12 clash

Robbie Henshaw starts at fullback for Connacht against Ulster on Friday night. Photograph: Inpho

Robbie Henshaw starts at fullback for Connacht against Ulster on Friday night. Photograph: Inpho

 

Ulster and Connacht welcome back their international heavyweights for Friday night’s Pro 12 fixture at Ravenhill.

Les Kiss’s side are currently fifth in the table while Connacht currently have a four point cushion at the top thanks to last weekend’s win over second place Leinster.

In total Kiss has made five changes to his starting XV, with Ireland captain Rory Best, Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne all returning to the fold.

Payne’s opposite number in Belfast will be Ireland midfield partner Robbie Henshaw who returns to Pat Lam’s starting line-up at 15.

Second Captains

Iain Henderson will make his first home appearance for Ulster since returning form the injury he sustained last December, and he is joined in the backrow by Chris Henry and Roger Wilson, who replaces the injured Nick Williams.

Stuart McCloskey partners Luke Marshall in midfield, and they will be up against a Connacht duo of Peter Robb and Bundee Aki, who are retained after the Leinster victory.

For Connacht Rodney Ah You, who is bound for Ulster in the summer, replaces the injured Nathan White in the frontrow while Ultan Dillane returns to the bench after making his international breakthrough during the Six Nations.

Connacht boss Lam is without the injured AJ MacGinty. Sale Sharks announced on Thursday the back would be joining the North West club next season.

Ulster: J Payne, A Trimble, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy, P Jackson, R Pienaar, C Black, R Best (C), R Lutton, P Browne, F van der Merwe, I Henderson, C Henry, R Wilson. Replacements: R Herring, K McCall, B Ross, R Diack, S Reidy, P Marshall, S Olding, D Cave.

Connacht: Robbie Henshaw, Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Peter Robb, Matt Healy, Shane O’Leary, John Cooney, Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Rodney Ah You, Andrew Browne, Aly Muldowney, John Muldoon, James Connolly, Eoin McKeon. Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ronan Loughney. Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Sean O’Brien, Caolin Blade, Cormac Brennan, Danie Poolman

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.