/ Rugby

Ulster change front row for visit of Munster in RaboDirect

Updated: Thursday, 13 Sep 2012 17:46 | Comments

Stephen Ferris will reach the 100 cap milestone on Friday night
Stephen Ferris will reach the 100 cap milestone on Friday night

Ulster have made seven changes to the starting XV for the RaboDirect PRO12 visit of Munster to Ravenhill on Friday night.

Stephen Ferris has been named at blindside flanker and will earn his 100th cap for the province, while Tom Court, John Afoa and Nigel Brady will start in an all new front row.

In the backs, Andrew Trimble comes in at right wing, while Paul Marshall and Paddy Jackson, who were also on the bench last week, will combine at half back in place of Michael Heaney and Niall O’Connor.

Ulster XV to face Munster in the RaboDirect PRO12 at Ravenhill on Friday, 7.05pm:

(15-9): J Payne; A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, M Allen; P Jackson, P Marshall. (1-8): T Court, N Brady, J Afoa, J Muller (c), L Stevenson, S Ferris, S Doyle, N Williams.

Replacements (16-23): R Herring, C Black, D Fitzpatrick, N McComb, M McComish, M Heaney, P Nelson, C Gilroy.

Ireland internationals Chris Henry and Dan Tuohy have not been included in the match-day squad despite being named in the extended squad on Tuesday. The two will instead get a run out for Ulster Ravens against Munster A earlier in the afternoon.

Director of coaching Mark Anscombe said that players showing good form will be picked, and used Nigel Brady’s selection at hooker as an example, saying: “Rob Herring has done well, he’s a young guy learning his trade at hooker and we’re happy with the way he’s progressing but Nigel came on last week and his experience came through.

“His scrummaging was outstanding and he contributed around the park and that’s what we want. It’s a matter of keeping everyone accountable for their performance and Nigel took his chance last week and has been rewarded.”

Anscombe was full of praise for the travelling Munster side: “It’s our first derby of the season and there’s a lot of history between the two teams so it should be a great occasion.

“They will be the best team we’ve played against so far this year and their history shows what they’re capable of doing. There’s no prouder union in the competition than Munster and there’s never going to be an easy game against them so we need to perform to our capabilities to come away with a win.

“I’m really hoping that we get a big home crowd out to support us and I really want us to get a victory.”

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