Les Kiss has named a strong Ulster team for the trip to play Cardiff Blues in the Guinness PRO12 on Saturday (5.15pm).
Stuart McCloskey will make his first appearance for the Province since September, after overcoming a foot injury he sustained in the PRO12 win against Glasgow.
The Bangor man will be joined in midfield by fellow Irish international Luke Marshall, while Ruan Pienaar and Brett Herron will continue their half back partnership. The experienced trio of Tommy Bowe, Craig Gilroy and Charles Piutau will occupy the back three positions.
Chris Henry will make his first appearance of the season following his selection at openside flanker. Iain Henderson, who featured prominently in Ireland’s success in the November series, is selected in the number 6 jersey. Sean Reidy is the other loose forward included by Kiss, meaning all three back row players are capped by Ireland.
Pete Browne and Franco van der Merwe have been paired together in the second row, with captain Rob Herring set to be joined in the front row by props Kyle McCall and Wiehahn Herbst.
John Andrew, Andy Warwick, Rodney Ah You, Kieran Treadwell and Clive Ross will provide forward cover from the bench, while Paul Marshall, Louis Ludik and Darren Cave are listed as the backline replacements.
Ulster team and replacements to play Cardiff Blues, Saturday 3rd December, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 5.15pm):
(15-9): C Piutau, T Bowe, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy, B Herron, R Pienaar;
(1-8): K McCall, R Herring (capt), W Herbst, P Browne, F van der Merwe, I Henderson, C Henry, S Reidy;
Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, A Warwick, R Ah You, K Treadwell, C Ross, P Marshall, L Ludik, D Cave
1 May 2017