Ulster travel to face Franco Bernini’s team this Saturday and Coach Brian McLaughlin has made five changes of personnel to the starting line-up that defeated League Champions the Ospreys in Round 1 at Ravenhill last Friday night.
Up front there are four changes of personnel and one positional switch. Tom Court and Chris Henry make their first Ulster starts having toured with Ireland in the summer while Rory Best and Stephen Ferris are rested as part of the IRFU’s player management programme.
Court comes into the starting line-up at the expense of Bryan Young who drops to the bench while Nigel Brady assumes the hooker berth with Andi Kyriacou providing cover.
The second row pairing of Muller, who will captain the side, and Barker is unchanged while in the back row, Pedrie Wannenburg makes a positional switch from No8 to the blind side flank to cover for the rested Ferris, Willie Faloon moves to the bench to make way for Chris Henry at openside while Robbie Diack, who was one of last week’s replacements, starts at No8.
Amongst the backs, McLaughlin has kept faith with is young back three of D’Arcy, Seymour and McIlwaine while Darren Cave has a new ce.ntre partner in Paddy Wallace, another Ireland tourist making a first start as Ian Whitten drops to the bench. Niall O’Connor and Paul Marshall start again in the halfback positions.
The other notable change is amongst the replacements, with Jamie Smith coming in for Jonny Shiels having recovered from injury (eye) sustained in the opening friendly against Bath at Ravenhill.
The match which kick off at 6.05pm our time will be broadcast live via BBC NI Sport Online www.bbc.co.uk/nisport
Ulster (15-9): Adam D’Arcy; Tommy Seymour, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, David McIlwaine; Niall O’Connor, Paul Marshall (1-8) Tom Court, Nigel Brady, Declan Fitzpatrick, Johann Muller (Captain), Tim Barker, Pedrie Wannenburg, Chris Henry, Robbie Diack
Replacements: Andi Kyriacou, Bryan Young, Paddy McAllister, Ryan Caldwell, Willie Faloon, Ian Porter, Ian Whitten, Jamie Smith