Tommy Bowe will line up for Ulster at Ravenhill for the first time in four years against Connacht on Friday (kick-off 7.05pm).

Prop Declan Fitzpatrick was initially named in the starting XV, but he has since been withdrawn after aggravating a medial ligament injury in training this morning. John Afoa will start in Fitzpatrick's place.

Hooker Rory Best has returned to fitness and plays for the first time since the Heineken Cup final in May.

Captain Johann Muller, Stephen Ferris and Paddy Wallace are also called into the starting XV for the RaboDirect PRO12 derby.

Ulster XV v Connacht, Friday 5 October. 

(15-9): J Payne; T Bowe, D Cave, P Wallace, A Trimble; P Jackson, P Marshall; (1-8): T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (c), D Tuohy, S Ferris, C Henry, N Williams.

Replacements (16-23): R Herring, C Black, A Macklin, L Stevenson, M McComish, M Heaney, L Marshall, C Gilroy.

The match will be screened live on RTÉ Two and (IoI).

Afoa and Best are joined in the front row by Tom Court, with Muller back to partner Dan Tuohy in the second row. Ferris will play alongside Chris Henry and Nick Williams in the back row.

Centre Michael Allen, has been ruled out after suffering an ankle injury. Darren Cave moves to outside centre in his place, allowing Paddy Wallace to slot in at inside centre.

Paul Marshall and Paddy Wallace will continue their half-back partnership, while the back three of Bowe, Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne is also unchanged from the win over Cardiff Blues.

The game promises to be an emotional occasion, marking Ulster’s first home game since the tragic passing of Nevin Spence.