Ulster make three changes for Pro14 semi-final

Jacob Stockdale, Stuart McCloskey and Jordi Murphy are all fit to start against Edinburgh

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has named Billy Burns, Louis Ludik and Alan O’Connor in his starting team for the trip to Edinburgh. File photograph: Inpho

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has named Billy Burns, Louis Ludik and Alan O’Connor in his starting team for the trip to Edinburgh. File photograph: Inpho

 

Billy Burns returns to captain Ulster as one of three changes for Saturday’s Pro14 semi-final against Edinburgh (BT Murrayfield, 7.35pm).

Burns, Louis Ludik and Alan O’Connor all come into the team with only Ludik featuring in last week’s defeat to Leinster. Jacob Stockdale, Stuart McCloskey and Jordi Murphy are all fit enough to start after picking up injuries in that encounter.

Stockdale will once again take the 15 jersey, with wingers Rob Lyttle and Ludik completing the starting back three. For the third game in succession, James Hume and Stuart McCloskey will pair up in midfield. John Cooney will line up alongside Billy Burns in the halfback positions.

The frontrow is unchanged from the game against Leinster, with Rob Herring retaining his starting berth at hooker, as well as Eric O’Sullivan and Tom O’Toole at loosehead and tighthead props respectively. Alan O’Connor is the only change to the pack and comes in to join Sam Carter in the secondrow. Matthew Rea and Jordi Murphy have been named as the flankers with Marcell Coetzee packing down at number eight.

John Andrew, Jack McGrath, Marty Moore, Kieran Treadwell and Sean Reidy provide the forward options off the bench, while Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan and Michael Lowry are the backline reinforcements.

ULSTER: Jacob Stockdale; Louis Ludik, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Rob Lyttle; Billy Burns (Capt), John Cooney; Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole; Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter; Matthew Rea, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: John Andrew, Jack McGrath, Marty Moore, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Michael Lowry.

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