Dan McFarland has named a strong side for the welcome of Conference A rivals Glasgow Warriors to Kingspan Stadium tomorrow night as they chase a five-win start to the Guinness PRO14 for the first time since 2016-17.
Billy Burns and Stuart McCloskey are on international duty but Ulster welcome back Matt Faddes and Marcell Coetzee into the team.
Eric O’Sullivan will make his 50th appearance for Ulster if he appears of the bench. Incredibly he’s only missed eight matches since making his debut against Scarlets in September 2018, showing immense durability for playing in a highly physical and tiring position.
Only Alan O’Connor and Kieran Treadwell have made more appearances for Ulster since the start of the 2018-19 season.
Marty Moore is the only player to keep his position in the front rwo with Adam McBurney and O’Sullivan moving onto the bench. Jack McGrath and John Andrew start alongside the former Wasps man. Sam Carter captains the side and is partnered by Treadwell in the second row. Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy and Coetzee form the back row.
Ian Madigan steps into the ten jersey with Bill Johnston named on the bench. Madigan starts alongside John Cooney while Stewart Moore and Luke Marshall are outside of him in the centres. Tomorrow night will be Marshall’s first start since February as he wears the 13 jersey. Michael Lowry continues at 15 after a solid performance against Cardiff last Monday night. Faddes and Craig Gilroy are the wingers.
Gregor Townsend has not released any Scottish internationals to play for Glasgow tomorrow night and there are another six players unavailable due to injury. Nine changes have been made by Danny Wilson from the Leinster match ahead of the trip to Kingspan tomorrow night.
Most capped player Rob Harley starts in the second row while Ryan Wilson captains the side from blindside flanker. Niko Matawalu is a familiar name to Ulster fans and starts on the left wing. Ulster will be hoping to limit the amount of touches the Fijian gets on the ball as he possesses a wicked step and tremendous pace.
As expected, Leinster’s 2nds were too strong for Glasgow at Scotstoun last Monday night, although the home side put up an early fight. Similar to when they were coached by Townsend and Dave Rennie, the Weegies like to play a loose game and scored an impressive three tries against the champions but lacked the composure that Adam Hastings brought to the game.
Already 13 points ahead of Glasgow, Ulster have the opportunity to put daylight between them and the Scottish side who are in fourth. Ospreys host Leinster with the Dublin side expected to win, it could turn out to be a very good evening for Ulster if they win tomorrow night.
Danny Wilson’s men have started the campaign with just one win from four matches – a 20-7 home win over Scarlets in round 2. They’ve lost out in matches away to Connacht and Ospreys as well as the aforementioned home tie against Leinster.
The FRU predicts: I think Ulster will be too strong for a depleted Glasgow side and will make it 5/5 start in the PRO14.
|Michael Lowry||15||Glenn Bryce|
|Craig Gilroy||14||Ratu Tagive|
|Luke Marshall||13||Robbie Fergusson|
|Stewart Moore||12||Stafford McDowall|
|Matt Faddes||11||Niko Matawalu|
|Ian Madigan||10||Pete Horne|
|John Cooney||9||Jamie Dobie|
|Jack McGrath||1||Aki Seiuli|
|John Andrew||2||Grant Stewart|
|Marty Moore||3||Enrique Pieretto|
|Kieran Treadwell||4||Rob Harley|
|Sam Carter||5||Kiran McDonald|
|Matty Rea||6||Ryan Wilson|
|Sean Reidy||7||Tom Gordon|
|Marcell Coetzee||8||TJ Ioane|
|Adam McBurney||16||Johnny Matthews|
|Eric O’Sullivan||17||Alex Allan|
|Gareth Milasinovich||18||D’arcy Rae|
|Alan O’Connor||19||Lewis Bean|
|Marcus Rea||20||Hamish Bain|
|Dave Shanahan||21||Fotu Lokotui|
|Bill Johnston||22||Sean Kennedy|
|Ethan McIlroy||23||Brandon Thomson|