Ulster seek a home win against Treviso

Tommy Bowe comes in for his first competitive match since the Lions’ Tour

Tommy Bowe is back from wrist injury to face Treviso at Ravenhill tonight.

Tommy Bowe is back from wrist injury to face Treviso at Ravenhill tonight.


Ulster’s sparkling back line should draw attention tonight. With Tommy Bowe back from the Lions and a wrist injury slipping in beside Jared Payne, Luke Marshall and Craig Gilroy, it’s as good an offensive line you will see in this tournament. Paul Marshall at scrumhalf is an impressively live wire too and should get a look in this year with Joe Schmidt.

Gilroy came on last week against Connacht but is in at fullback tonight for his first start of the season. At 13 Jared Payne is, perhaps the most interesting character to consider. The ‘project player’ is a class act. He drifts through gaps at pace, has great hands and most of all is an intelligent rugby player. Importantly he’s Irish qualified at the end of this season, just as Schmidt begins to more seriously consider life on the Irish team without Brian O’Driscoll. Payne is easily international standard. Ian Henderson, another exciting talent, takes to the second row this week as he oscillates between the back five position. His work rate and ball carrying ability there should compliment a robust backrow of Robbie Diack, Chris Henry and Dan Tuohy.

Treviso come to Belfast on the back of a win over Munster last week, which should shake Ulster out of any presumptions they may have had about travelling Italian teams.

In all 11 internationals take to the pitch as Mark Anscombe demonstrates an Ulster show of strength. Remember too Stuart Olding is to come back in and maybe the gods will smile on Stephen Ferris too.

No reason for Treviso boss Franco Smith to change his Munster beating team and he hasn’t after the 29-19 win. So they lineout exactly the same way hoping to be the second side this year to beat Ulster in Belfast.
ULSTER: C Gilroy; T Bowe, J Payne, L Marshall, M Allen; P Jackson, P Marshall; T Court, R Best (capt), R Lutton, I Henderson, D Tuohy, R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson. Replacements: R Herring, C Black, B Ross, L Stevenson, N Williams, M Heaney, J McKinney, D Cave
TREVISO: L McClean; L Nitoglia, M Campagnaro, A Sgarbi, C Loamanu; M Berquist, E Gori; M Rizzo, E Ceccato, A De Marchi, A Pavenello (capt), M Fuser, S Favaro, A Zanni, M Vosawai. Replacements: G Maistri, I Fernandez, P Di Santo, V Bernabo, D Budd, R Barbieri, F Semenzato, A Di Bernardo
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Verdict: Ulster