Rob Herring will make his 100th appearance for Ulster tomorrow night as Les Kiss welcomes back some big names to his squad for the visit of Scarlets to Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.05pm).
Herring, who joined the Province four years ago and is now sharing the club captaincy with Andrew Trimble, will be joined in the match-day panel by returning Ireland trio Craig Gilroy, Iain Henderson and Paddy Jackson, along with All Black Charles Piutau.
There are eight new faces in the starting XV with Callum Black, Pete Browne, Alan O’Connor and Robbie Diack bolstering the pack, while Gilroy, Jackson, Piutau and Stuart McCloskey will join an already potent backline.
Herring, a try scorer in each of Ulster’s last three games, will be joined in the front row by Black and Rodney Ah You.
Browne and O’Connor form a new second row partnership, with Clive Ross and Sean Reidy retaining their places on the side of the scrum and Diack packing down at number 8.
Jackson will combine with Ruan Pienaar at half-back, while McCloskey and Stuart Olding are named in midfield. Louis Ludik switches from fullback to left wing, with Gilroy and Piutau completing the lineup.
Andy Warwick could earn his 50th Ulster cap after being named among the replacements. Henderson will be a robust option for Kiss to spring from the bench, with John Andrew, Hughes Insurance Academy prop Ross Kane and Franco van der Merwe listed as the other forward replacements.
Angus Lloyd is still in line to make his first competitive appearance after being an unused replacement last week against Treviso. Luke Marshall and Rob Lyttle are the other backline players in the 23.
Ulster team and replacements to play Scarlets, Friday 16th September, Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.05pm):
(15-9): C Piutau; C Gilroy, S Olding, S McCloskey, L Ludik; P Jackson, R Pienaar;
(1-8): C Black, R Herring (captain), R Ah You, P Browne, A O’Connor, C Ross, S Reidy, R Diack;
Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, A Warwick, R Kane, F van der Merwe, I Henderson, A Lloyd, L Marshall, R Lyttle.