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Ulster's Pienaar & Henry return to face Leinster at the RDS

Updated: Friday, 29 Mar 2013 17:33 | Comments

Andrew Trimble starts on the wing for Ulster in Saturday's trip south to the RDS
Andrew Trimble starts on the wing for Ulster in Saturday's trip south to the RDS

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has made six changes to the side that lost to Edinburgh last weekend for Saturday evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 game against Leinster at the RDS, kick off 6.15pm.

Ruan Pienaar and Chris Henry return to the side having recovered from injury. Number 8, Nick Williams, who played the second half at Murrayfield last weekend, starts his first game since suffering a knee injury in January.

Ireland internationals, Rory Best and Craig Gilroy return to the Ulster side following the RBS 6 Nations.

With John Afoa in New Zealand for the birth of his third child, there is a first Ulster start for tighthead Ricky Lutton. The 27-year-old, who was named club player of the year at last year’s Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards, signed a development contract with the province at the start of this season.

Robbie Diack who started at Number 8 against Edinburgh switches to blindside flanker for the game, while Dan Tuohy reverts to his usual position in the second-row.

Rob Herring, Lewis Stevenson and Paul Marshall drop to the bench. They are joined by back-row forwards Roger Wilson and Iain Henderson who have both recovered from injury.

Callum Black and Peter Nelson retain their places among the substitutes, while Academy prop, Kyle McCall, who has represented Ireland at Under-20 level, is in line to make his first appearance for Ulster.

Rob Kearney is one of seven internationals to return to the starting line-up following the province’s victory over the Glasgow Warriors last weekend.

The Louth man joins his brother Dave and Isa Nacewa in the back three, while Dubliner Brendan Macken, on his 24th senior appearance, gets the chance to form a midfield partnership with Leinster’s most capped player Gordon D’Arcy who will line out for the 219th occasion on Saturday.

Isaac Boss continues at half back alongside the league’s top points scorer Ian Madigan who has scored 149 points in 18 games to date.

Hooker Richardt Strauss will make his 75th Leinster appearance after recovering from injury and takes his place in the front row alongside fellow international colleagues Cian Healy and Mike Ross. Devin Toner, a second half replacement last weekend, partners Quinn Roux at lock.

Jamie Heaslip, meanwhile, leads the team and features in an experienced back-row alongside Shane Jennings and Kevin McLaughlin.

Ireland trio Sean Cronin, Leo Cullen and Rhys Ruddock are named amongst the replacements.

Ulster XV: Payne, Trimble, Cave, Olding, Gilroy, Jackson, Pienaar; Court, Best, Lutton, Muller, Tuohy, Diack, Henry, Williams.
Replacements: Herring, Black, McCall, Stevenson, I Henderson, R Wilson, P Marshall, P Nelson.

Leinster XV: R Kearney, D Kearney, Macken, D’Arcy, Nacewa, Madigan, Boss; Healy, Strauss, Ross, Toner, Roux, McLaughlin, Jennings, Heaslip.
Replacements: Cronin, McGrath, Hagan, Cullen, Ruddock, Cooney, Goodman, Conway.

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