Marcell Coetzee returns as Ulster make five changes for Kings

Dan McFarland’s men are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions

Marcell Coetzee is back in the Ulster team as they aim to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho

Marcell Coetzee is back in the Ulster team as they aim to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho

 

Marcell Coetzee will make a welcome return from injury for Ulster in their crucial Pro14 clash with Isuzu Southern Kings at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 5.30pm).

He has not featured since January’s decisive Heineken Champions Cup defeat of Leicester at Welford Road.

There are a total of five personnel changes to the team that managed a bonus point win away to Dragons earlier this month. Four of the new faces are up front, with loosehead prop Andy Warwick, lock Ian Nagle and backrows Matty Rea and Coetzee introduced to the starting pack.

Rob Herring and Marty Moore will join Warwick in the frontrow, while captain Alan O’Connor partners Nagle in the secondrow. Nick Timoney, so impressive at Rodney Parade in his last outing, is named as the other loose forward.

The only alteration to the backline is at scrumhalf, with Dave Shanahan coming in to partner Billy Burns at halfback. Stuart McCloskey and Darren Cave continue in midfield, and pacy wingers Rob Lyttle and Rob Baloucoune are again selected in the back three alongside Louis Ludik.

Dan McFarland’s men are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions and they will hope to continue that recent good form as they battle for a play-off spot in Conference B.

ULSTER: L Ludik; R Baloucoune, D Cave, S McCloskey, R Lyttle; B Burns, D Shanahan; A Warwick, R Herring, M Moore; A O’Connor (Capt), I Nagle; M Rea, N Timoney, M Coetzee.

Replacements: J Andrew, W Herbst, T O’Toole, K Treadwell, C Ross, J Cooney, M Lowry, A Kernohan.

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