Rob Lyttle will make his 50th Ulster appearance when they host the Scarlets on Friday evening in the United Rugby Championship.
The left wing will start alongside Ethan McIlroy, who makes a positional switch to full-back, while Craig Gilroy comes in on the right.
Angus Curtis retains his starting berth at inside centre, and partners Ben Moxham in the Ulster midfield. Nathan Doak and Billy Burns will form the half-back pairing for the Kingspan clash (7.35pm).
John Andrew comes in to start at hooker, joining Eric O'Sullivan at loosehead and Marty Moore at tighthead prop.
🚨 TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT / CYHOEDDIAD TÎM 🚨— Scarlets Rugby (@scarlets_rugby) January 27, 2022
Here's our 23 to take on @UlsterRugby at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday
👊 Daf named as captain
1️⃣ First start of the season for Steff Thomas
Dyma ein 23 i wynebu Ulster yn stadiwm Kingspan ar nos Wener#ULSvSCA #URC pic.twitter.com/woPWdxldI2
Sam Carter pairs up with captain Alan O'Connor in the second row, while Greg Jones is selected at blindside flanker, Marcus Rea makes a positional switch to openside and Duane Vermeulen completes the base of the pack.
Gareth Milasinovich has returned from his short-term loan to Saracens and is named on the bench with Brad Roberts, Jack McGrath, Mick Kearney and David McCann to provide the forward options.
David Shanahan, Ian Madigan and Aaron Sexton are the back-line replacements for Dan McFarland's men, who sit third in the table on 26 points.
Ulster: Ethan McIlroy; Craig Gilroy, Ben Moxham, Angus Curtis, Rob Lyttle; Billy Burns, Nathan Doak; Eric O'Sullivan, John Andrew, Marty Moore; Alan O’Connor (capt.), Sam Carter; Greg Jones, Marcus Rea, Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Brad Roberts, Jack McGrath, Gareth Milasinovich, Mick Kearney, David McCann, David Shanahan, Ian Madigan, Aaron Sexton.
Follow all of Ireland's Six Nations games via our live blogs on rte.ie/sport and on the RTÉ News App or listen to live radio coverage on RTÉ Radio 1. Watch live TV coverage of Ireland v Wales (5 February, 2.15pm) and England v Ireland (12 March, 4.45pm) on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player.