Former Munster out-half Jake Flannery will make his fourth appearance for Ulster as he starts for the province in their rearranged BKT URC round 6 fixture on Saturday.

Flannery scored a try and four conversions in a win over the Airlink Pumas when he was last in South Africa with Emerging Ireland.

Springbok star Duane Vermeulen will captain the visitors from the back of the scrum and is joined in the back row by Nick Timoney and Jordi Murphy.

The side, which can expect to face challenging temperatures, sees Alan O'Connor paired in the second row with academy player, Harry Sheridan, who scored his first try for Ulster last weekend against Glasgow in Scotstoun Stadium.

In a change to the front row, Rory Sutherland comes in at loosehead prop, while Jeff Toomaga-Allen, who scored a try the last time out against South African opposition in the URC, retains his place at tighthead, with John Andrew set to add to his tally of over 100 caps for the province at hooker.

Scrum-half John Cooney, who racked-up 10 points when Ulster beat the Sharks last season, will be looking to repeat this performance, with Flannery coming in at fly-half.

Aaron Sexton, Craig Gilroy, and Mike Lowry, who scored a try last time out against Sharks, and was named Player of the Match in the province's win at Ellis Park in Johannesburg back in October, form the back three.

Graduate of the Emerging Ireland tour, Stewart Moore, completes the starting line-up in a centre partnership with Luke Marshall.

Assistant coach Dan Soper said: "We are physically preparing for them, and we aren't using the travel or heat as an excuse.

"Last week, the Sharks overpowered the Lions, and made it clear they have very dangerous powerful players. It’s going to be an excellent challenge for us."

Ulster: Mike Lowry; Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall, Stewart Moore, Aaron Sexton; Jake Flannery, John Cooney; Rory Sutherland, John Andrew, Jeff Toomaga-Allen; Alan O'Connor, Harry Sheridan; Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen (capt).

Replacements: Tom Stewart, Andy Warwick, Gareth Milasinovich, Cormac Izuchukwu, Dave McCann, Dave Shanahan, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.

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