PRO12: Teams up for Ulster v Ospreys

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O'Connor edges ahead in the battle of the young guns in the second row.

Teams are up for the Ulster v Ospreys PRO12 match which takes place tomorrow evening at Ravenhill, kick off 18:30

Whether because of injury or by design Les Kiss has shuffled his cards once again as Ulster are left with their third choice centre pairing!  However when your third choice is Jarred Payne and Darren Cave there’s not a lot wrong with the world. 🙂 

Even if our centres we’re not decimated with injury I suspect that we would have seen this pairing sooner or later and I suspect it may be our best, with this game, hopefully, sparking another series of articles on where to play Payne. 

Yes, once again, it’s a mouth watering back line, and this time round Paul Marshall gets the chance to lead them from scrum half. Marshall’s game has improved dramatically and he probably deserves this start on merit given that Ruan didn’t have one of his better games against Glasgow. However I suspect Marshall’s start is more to do with getting him match fit before the European team is thrown together next weekend for the game against Connacht. 

Rory Best makes a welcome return up front, with Herring rested in anticipation of the games ahead, however  I think this will be a tough game up front with the Ospreys posting a formidable pack, led by the excellent Alun Wyn Jones. Sam Parry, Bradley Jones, Justin Tipuric and Dan Baker add a hard edge and I guess we’ll find out how good our pack is in this one if the Ospreys get a fingerhold in this game. 

The FRU Predicts: The Ospreys have travelled with an excellent pack and outstanding half backs and I’m really 50:50 on which way this game will go. Home advantage to give Ulster the edge in a high scoring thriller at the fortress. 

Charles Piutau 15 Dan Evans
Craig Gilroy 14 Jeff Hassler
Jared Payne 13 Ben John
Darren Cave 12 Josh Matavesi
Louis Ludik 11 Eli Walker
Paddy Jackson 10 Dan Biggar
Paul Marshall 9 9 Rhys Webb
Kyle McCall 1 Nicky Smith
Rory Best 2 Sam Parry
Rodney Ah You 3 Dmitri Arhip
Alan O’Connor 4 Bradley Davies
Franco vd Merwe 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt)
Iain Henderson 6 James King
Sean Reidy 7 Justin Tipuric
Roger Wilson 8 Dan Baker
John Andrew 16 Scott Baldwin
Callum Black 17 Paul James
Ross Kane 18 Ma’afu Fia
Kieran Treadwell 19 Rory Thornton
Robbie Diack 20 Olly Cracknell
Ruan Pienaar 21 Tyler Ardron
Brett Herron 22 Tom Habberfield
Tommy Bowe 23 Sam Davies