A whole host of Ireland internationals have been recalled to their respective sides for Friday night's Pro14 inter-provincial clash between Ulster and Connacht at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm).

Ulster welcome back some big hitters of their own as they look to bounce back from their surprise defeat to Zebre last time out.

Chris Henry returns to captain the side from the back row, where he will be joined by two robust ball carriers in Iain Henderson and Jean Deysel.

The deployment of Henderson at six in particular will be of special interest to Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.

John Cooney and Australian Christian Lealiifano are retained as the half backs and will steer an all-international backline.

Stuart McCloskey is selected in midfield alongside Luke Marshall, with Jacob Stockdale and Tommy Bowe selected on the wings and Charles Piutau at fullback.

Kyle McCall, Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst come in to occupy the front row positions, with Alan O'Connor and Kieran Treadwell named in the second row.

Ulster team v Connacht: J Cooney; C Lealiifano, J Stockdale, S McCloskey, L Marshall, T Bowe, C Piutau; K McCall, R Herring, W Herbst;  A O'Connor, K Treadwell; I Henderson, C Henry (captain), J Deysel;

Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, R Ah You, R Diack, S Reidy, P Marshall, P Nelson, L Ludik.

Connacht head coach Kieran Keane welcomes back Kieran Marmion, John Muldoon and Matt Healy to action for the encounter.

The 2016 champions travel to Kingspan Stadium looking to end a 57-year stretch without a victory in Ulster.

Scrum-half Marmion will make his 100th appearance for the province, with captain Muldoon coming into the backrow.

Ireland international Healy has recovered from a shoulder injury to take his place on the wing.

Tiernan O’Halloran moves to full-back having scored two tries against Scarlets last time out with Cian Kelleher, also a try-scorer last week, on the right wing.

Tom Farrell and Bundee Aki, who has played every minute so far, will form the centre partnership.

Marmion, who has made more passes than any other player so far this season (405), teams up with Jack Carty in the half-backs with the out-half the PRO14’s fifth top scorer on 39 points.

Hooker Tom McCartney is flanked by Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham in the front row as the second row partnership of Ultan Dillane and Quinn Roux remains intact.

Connacht team v Ulster: Tiernan O’Halloran; Cian Kelleher, Bundee Aki, Tom Farell, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham; Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux; Eoin McKeon, Jarrad Butler, John Muldoon (Capt).

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Denis Coulson, Conor Carey, James Cannon, Eoghan Masterson, Caolin Blade, Steve Crosbie, Eoin Griffin.