Nick Timoney set to make first Ulster start against Dragons

Iain Henderson named on the bench, set to play his first game of the new campaign

Nick Timoney will make his first appearance of the season in Friday's Pro14 clash against Dragons, as Ulster aim to make it four consecutive wins in the competition.

Iain Henderson, who impressed on the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, is also set to play his first game of the campaign for Ulster, after being named on the bench.

Timoney, who is a member of the Ulster academy and featured prominently for the Ireland 7s squad during the summer, will join Clive Ross and captain Chris Henry in the backrow.

Rodney Ah You (tighthead prop) and Robbie Diack (second row) are introduced to the front five alongside Kyle McCall, Rob Herring and Alan O’Connor, who produced a robust performance against the Scarlets last weekend.


Darren Cave will make his first start of the season and will combine with last week's man of the match, Stuart McCloskey, in midfield. Paul Marshall and Pete Nelson will form the halfback partnership.

Jacob Stockdale is retained on the left wing, with Tommy Bowe selected on the opposite flank, while Charles Piutau has recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place at fullback.

The Ballymena RFC trio of John Andrew, Andy Warwick and Matty Rea will provide forward cover along with Henderson and Wiehahn Herbst.

Dave Shanahan will offer a scrumhalf option from the bench, while Brett Herron and Rob Lyttle could make their season debuts after being named among the replacements.

ULSTER: C Piutau; T Bowe, D Cave, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; P Nelson, P Marshall; K McCall, R Herring, R Ah You; R Diack, A O'Connor; C Ross, C Henry (captain), N Timoney.

Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, W Herbst, I Henderson, M Rea, D Shanahan, B Herron, R Lyttle.