There has been one change to the team we posted on Tuesday with Dan Tuohy dropping to the bench. Iain Henedrson moves to second row with Robbie Diack playing at blindside and Nick Williams slotting in a the back of the scrum.
Ulster Head Coach, Mark Anscombe has made five changes and one positional switch to the team that defeated Connacht at the Sportsground, two weeks ago, for Friday night’s crucial RaboDirect PRO12 match against Cardiff Blues at Ravenhill (kick off 19.45).
John Afoa, Johann Muller and Iain Henderson all return to the side, while Callum Black is preferred to Tom Court in the front row.
Robbie Diack and Chris Henry both make their 100th appearance for the club and will start alongside each other in the back-row.
Paul Marshall starts at scrum-half, with Ruan Pienaar moving to out-half. Stuart Olding who has scored two tries in his past two games, retains his place at inside centre, with Darren Cave named at 13.
British and Irish Lions winger, Tommy Bowe, is selected on the left wing with Andrew Trimble, who has scored ten tries for the Province so far this season, starting on the right.
Sean Doyle is included in an Ulster squad for the first time since breaking his leg in October and will start on the bench.
Nigel Brady is also named among the substitutes in what is likely to be his last game for the club at Ravenhill. The 33 year old has represented Ulster for 12 years and has made 118 appearances. He was part of the squad that won the Celtic League in 2006, and won his 100th cap in the record breaking 41-7 win over Leicester in the Heineken Cup last season. His commitment to Ulster Rugby and his larger-than-life personality have made him a favourite of fans and players alike.
Ulster require three more match points to ensure that they finish at the top of the table. Mark Anscombe’s team have won their last three RaboDirect PRO12 matches and have lost just once at Ravenhill in the competition all season: 12-16 to Ospreys in February.
Ulster: Jared Payne, Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Stuart Olding, Tommy Bowe, Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall, Callum Black, Rory Best, John Afoa, Johann Muller, Iain Henderson, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Nick Williams. Replacements: Nigel Brady, Tom Court, Declan Fitzpatrick, Dan Tuohy, Sean Doyle, Paddy Jackson, Michael Allen, Peter Nelson.
Cardiff have chosen to rest three of their Lions, Warburton, Halfpenny and Roberts, but Cuthbert features as he works his way back from Injury. With Ex Ulster Legend Andi Kyriacou still injured this leaves a fairly weakened side travelling to Belfast for the final game of the regular season.
Cardiff Blues: Dan Fish, Alex Cuthbert, Gavin Evans, Dafydd Hewitt, Harry Robinson, Rhys Patchell, Lewis Jones, Taufa’ao Filise, Kristian Dacey, Scott Andrews, Bradley Davies, Lou Reed, Luke Hamilton, Josh Navidi, Michael Paterson. Replacements: Marc Breeze, Thomas Davies, Campese Ma’afu, Teofilo Paulo, Macauley Cook, Liam Davies, Ceri Sweeney, Tom James.