Return of Ireland quartet among 9 changes for Ulster’s trip to Wales

Paddy Jackson is back at out-half for Ulster. Source: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

ULSTER HAVE MADE nine changes in personnel from their New Year’s Eve defeat to Leinster for tomorrow night’s Guinness Pro12 meeting with Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets. [KO 7.35pm, BBC Sport NI].

Although the northern province are experiencing something of an injury crisis, director of rugby Les Kiss has been able to recall the likes of Rory Best, Iain Henderson, Paddy Jackson and Luke Marshall, as sixth-placed Ulster aim to close the four-point gap on their Welsh opponents, who currently lie in fourth place in the standings.

With Ruan Pienaar out injured, Jackson will start at out-half alongside Paul Marshall at scrum-half. Elsewhere in the back-line, Louis Ludik comes in at full-back for Charles Piutau, Ulster’s player of the month for December. Luke Marshall replaces Darren Cave at centre and Tommy Bowe makes way for Jacob Stockdale on the wing.

On either side of him in a new-look front row, hooker Rory Best will have Callum Black and Ross Kane, who gets his second senior start thanks to a string of injuries to Ulster’s other props. Iain Henderson returns at second row at the expense of Franco van der Merwe, while Chris Henry starts in the back row in place of the injured Roger Wilson.



15. Louis Ludik
14. Andrew Trimble (captain)
13. Luke Marshall
12. Stuart McCloskey
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Paddy Jackson
9. Paul Marshall

1. Callum Black
2. Rory Best
3. Ross Kane
4. Kieran Treadwell
5. Iain Henderson
6. Clive Ross
7. Chris Henry
8. Sean Reidy


16. John Andrew
17. Andy Warwick
18. Jonny Simpson
19. Franco van der Merwe
20. Pete Browne
21. Dave Shanahan
22. Brett Herron
23. Tommy Bowe


15. Johnny McNicholl
14. Liam Williams
13. Jonathan Davies
12. Hadleigh Parkes
11. Steff Evans
10. Dan Jones
9. Gareth Davies

1. Rob Evans
2. Ken Owens (captain)
3. Werner Kruger
4. Jake Ball
5. Tom Price
6. Lewis Rawlins
7. James Davies
8. John Barclay

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16. Ryan Elias
17. Wyn Jones
18. Nicky Thomas
19. Joshua MacLeod
20. Will Boyde
21. Aled Davies
22. Aled Thomas
23. Steff Hughes

Ulster decimated by front row injuries while Pienaar also sidelinedMarshall runs clever lines for Ulster after disappointment of November Tests