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2020-21 Ospreys Rugby PRO14 Provincial Rugby Men Ulster Rugby

PRO14: Teams up for Ulster v Ospreys

The teams are up for Friday nights PRO14 clash between Ulster and Ospreys at Ravenhill. Kick off 20:00.

Dan McFarland has made three changes to the starting team as Jacob Stockdale returns to the side for the first time since the Munster match while Andrew Warwick and Greg Jones come into the side.

Robert Baloucoune will make his first appearance of the season if he comes off the bench and will be the 48th player to take the field in an Ulster jersey this season after recovering from his hamstring injury. Sean Reidy also returns from injury and is named on the bench, but Marcell Coetzee misses out after picking up a thigh injury in the game last week.

The opposition

Despite poor discipline from Ulster which ended up in a red card for Iain Henderson, they defeated the Welsh side comfortably in the away fixture last year with Coetzee putting in a man of the match performance.

Ospreys have bounced back well after a horrific season last year and find themselves in third position in Conference A having recorded seven wins from their 12 matches. Last week they defeated Zebre 10-0 at the Liberty Stadium in a grim match which saw the only try of the game scored in the last 10 minutes, but they are in a strong position to seal a Champions Cup spot for next season.

Their half back pairing have plenty of experience with Rhys Webb winning two test caps for the Lions and 33 caps for Wales. Stephen Myler sits third in the top points scorers for the league and played 325 times for Northampton Saints over a period of 12 years.

England U20 international and former Bristol Bear, Mat Protheroe, is their top try scorer with four but misses the trip to Belfast. Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler and Keiran Williams form a useful centre partnership while Luke Morgan is an established Welsh Sevens international. He starts on the wing.

DATECOMPETITIONVENUEREFEREEULSOSP
29-4-17PRO12Liberty StadiumJohn Lacey1024
13-4-18PRO14RavenhillAndrew Brace80
20-5-18PRO14RavenhillMarius Mitrea3517
15-2-19PRO14Brewery FieldQuinton Immelman80
27-9-19PRO14RavenhillMarius Mitrea3814
15-2-20PRO14Liberty StadiumMarius Mitrea2426
10-10-20PRO14Liberty StadiumMike Adamson2412
Ospreys have won five times in 18 visits to Ravenhill with the last win coming in February 2013.

The man in the middle

Sean Gallagher will be taking charge of his 23rd PRO14 match tomorrow evening and this will be sixth Ulster match he has officiated since his first in February 2017. Ulster have won all five of those previous matches.

DATECOMPETITIONOPPOSITIONVENUEULSOPP
26-2-17PRO12ZebreStadio Sergio Lanfranchi4014
1-1-18PRO14MunsterRavenhill2417
21-12-18PRO14MunsterRavenhill1912
27-12-19PRO14ConnachtRavenhill353
27-12-20PRO14ConnachtThe Sportsground3219

Teams

ULSTEROSPREYS
Michael Lowry15Dan Evans
Rob Lyttle14Keelan Giles
James Hume13Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
Stuart McCloskey12Keiran Williams
Jacob Stockdale11Luke Morgan
Ian Madigan10Stephen Myler
John Cooney9Rhys Webb (C)
Andrew Warwick1Gareth Thomas
John Andrew2Sam Parry
Marty Moore3Tom Botha
Alan O’Connor4Lloyd Ashley
Kieran Treadwell5Rhys Davies
Greg Jones6Will Griffiths
Jordi Murphy (C)7Olly Cracknell
Nick Timoney8Morgan Morris
Adam McBurney16Ifan Phillips
Eric O’Sullivan17Nicky Smith
Ross Kane18Ma’afu Fia
Cormac Izuchukwu19Gareth Evans
Sean Reidy20Sam Cross
Alby Mathewson21Shaun Venter
Matt Faddes22Joe Hawkins
Robert Baloucoune.23Luke Price

The FRU predicts

Although we are without Coetzee for tomorrow night’s match, I think we will pull through with a comfortable win. There is enough talent in that side to score four tries and keep the pressure on Leinster who host Glasgow Warriors on Sunday.

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