Ulster welcome back Ireland trio Rory Best, Andrew Trimble and Stephen Ferris following their exploits with Ireland for the RaboDirect Pro12 against Aironi at Ravenhill.

Lewis Stevenson’s fine form in recent weeks has been rewarded with a starting place in the second row alongside captain Johann Muller. Dan Tuohy is named on the bench as a result.

Pedrie Wannenburg has recovered from the illness which ruled him out of last week’s trip to Treviso so he will earn his 50th Ulster cap.


The half back and centre partnerships remain unchanged as coach Brian McLaughlin McLaughlin looks for a settled team ahead of the Heineken Cup quarter final against Munster on Easter Sunday.

Ulster team:

15-9): S Terblanche; A Trimble, D Cave, P Wallace, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, R Pienaar;
(1-8): T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (capt), L Stevenson, S Ferris, C Henry, P Wannenburg;

Replacements (16-23): N Brady, P McAllister, A Macklin, D Tuohy, W Faloon, P Marshall, I Whitten, A D’Arcy

McLaughlin is delighted to have his Ireland starters back and available for Ulster’s run in: “Whenever Rory, Andrew and Stevie come back into the squad in gives everyone a great fillip. They have such high standards and demand the same from the other players.”

Commenting on his decision to promote Lewis Stevenson to the starting XV in place of Dan Tuohy, he said: “Lewis has been in very good form over the past couple of months. He was very good for us when he came off the bench in Treviso for the final 15 or 20 minutes so he deserves his chance.

Everyone knows there are places up for grabs in every position and we have great competition throughout the squad. If players get chances they have to take them.”