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Ulster are back in action tomorrow night against the Cardiff Blues after a week break and Dan McFarland includes eight internationals in the starting team.

Will Addison returns after injury to start at fullback with Matt Faddes moving to the replacement bench. Faddes will likely replace Addison who wont be match fit, in the second half, however I’m excited to see both these players take the field together later in the season. Nick Timoney is also in line to make his first appearance of the season off the bench.

Jack McGrath is recalled to the front row alongside John Andrew and Tom O’Toole. Sam Carter starts the night on the bench with Alan O’Connor and Kieran Treadwell occupying the lock jerseys. Marcell Coetzee burst back onto the scene with a great display against the Kings last time out and continues in the back row with Matty Rea and Sean Reidy.

Billy Burns captains the side from out half and is joined at half back by John Cooney. James Hume and Luke Marshall are the centres while Louis Ludik and Craig Gilroy start alongside Addison in the back three.

Cardiff have won one of their three games so far in the league with that victory coming against in the Kings in the opening round. Despite having notable absentees due to World Cup commitments, they put up decent showings against Edinburgh and most recently, Glasgow and currently lie in fifth place in Conference B.

They’re captained by former Ulster fan favourite Nick Williams while Willis Halaholo is set to make his first appearance of the season at inside centre alongside Garyn Smith. Halaholo combined with Rey Lee-Lo to seal a draw for his side in April 2017 which was the last time the Blues picked up any points at Kingspan Stadium.

Other players to look out for are Matthew Morgan who scored a sensational try against Saracens last season. Kick loosely to Morgan and he will punish Ulster, however the fullback is prone to an error or two and can put his side on the back foot. Jarrod Evans is another one to watch. He recently made his international debut for Wales in a World Cup warm up game, but missed out on selection for the tournament, but has been a thorn in Ulster’s side in the past.

Ulster are in good form so I would expect them to make it three wins from four tomorrow evening. In each of their last three matches they’ve scored at least four tries which has kept them within an arm’s reach of Leinster and Cheetahs at the top of Conference A. Ulster are firm favourites for this match, but as we know, they’ve not had it all their own away against the Blues in recent seasons.

The FRU predicts: I’m still tipping Ulster to win this match. They’ve a very strong squad out tomorrow night, with plenty of talent to come off the bench. Ulster by 12 with a try bonus point.

UlsterCardiff Blues
Will Addison15Matthew Morgan
Craig Gilroy14Jason Harries
Luke Marshall13Garyn Smith
James Hume12Willis Halaholo
Louis Ludik11Aled Summerhill
Billy Burns10Jarrod Evans
John Cooney9Lloyd Williams
Jack McGrath1Brad Thyer
John Andrew2Liam Belcher
Tom O’Toole3Scott Andrews
Alan O’Connor4Josh Turnbull
Kieran Treadwell5Rory Thornton
Matty Rea6Will Boyde
Sean Reidy7Olly Robinson
Marcell Coetzee8Nick Williams
Adam McBurney16Kristian Dacey
Eric O’Sullivan17Corey Domachowski
Ross Kane18Keiron Assiratti
Sam Carter19Seb Davies
Nick Timoney20Shane Lewis-Hughes
Dave Shanahan21Lewis Jones
Bill Johnston22Jason Tovey
Matt Faddes23Harri Millard
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