Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has been able to call on several of his Irish internationals for their United Rugby Championship opener against the Glasgow Warriors at Kingspan Stadium tomorrow evening.

In particular, the northern province have named an exciting backline, including John Cooney, Billy Burns, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale and Robert Baloucoune.

Cooney returns to the Ulster side having missed the end of last season with a neck injury, and joins Burns in a familiar half-back pairing.

McCloskey partners James Hume in the centre, with the pair having also started together on the latter's Test debut for Ireland v the USA this summer.

Baloucoune, who also made his Test debut in that USA match, starts on the right wing, with Jacob Stockdale and 21-year-old Ethan McIlroy completing the back three.

In the pack, there is a first Ulster start at hooker for Brad Roberts, either side of Andrew Warwick and Marty Moore, while Sam Carter captains the team in the second row where he is partnered by Alan O'Connor.

Sean Reidy has recovered from injury to start at flanker, while Greg Jones and Nick Timoney complete the side.

Ireland internationals Rob Herring, Eric O'Sullivan, Tom O'Toole and Will Addison are all among the replacements, as is new signing Mick Kearney.


Ulster: Ethan McIlroy; Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Andrew Warwick, Brad Roberts, Marty Moore; Alan O'Connor, Sam Carter; Greg Jones, Sean Reidy, Nick Timoney

Replacements: Rob Herring, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Mick Kearney, Matty Rea, Nathan Doak, Mike Lowry, Will Addison

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