Summer signings Jack McGrath, Sam Carter and Matt Faddes will make their first Ulster appearances in Friday's Guinness Pro14 opener versus Ospreys at Kingspan Stadium, kick-off 7.35pm.

McGrath starts in the front row alongside captain Rob Herring and Tom O’Toole, with Carter partnering Kieran Treadwell in the second row.

Matthew Rea, Jordi Murphy and Sean Reidy are selected as the loose forwards.

Last season’s pivotal half-back partnership of John Cooney and Billy Burns continues, with James Hume and Luke Marshall paired in the Ulster midfield.

Craig Gilroy will make his first competitive outing in over 11 months, and he joins Rob Lyttle and Faddes in the back three.

John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane, Alan O’Connor and Greg Jones will provide the forward options from the bench, with David Shanahan, Michael Lowry and Louis Ludik covering the backline.

Ulster team (15-9): Matt Faddes; Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall, James Hume, Rob Lyttle; Billy Burns, John Cooney;(1-8): Jack McGrath, Rob Herring (Capt), Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Sam Carter, Matthew Rea, Jordi Murphy, Sean Reidy.

Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane, Alan O’Connor, Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Michael Lowry, Louis Ludik.