Ulster Rugby have released the latest details for Friday nights match:
Brian McLaughlin has named a 30 man squad ahead of this Friday’s match against Glasgow at Ravenhill, kick off 7.05pm.
New signing Ruan Pienaar’s name features for the first time, having arrived in Belfast just two weeks ago whilst winger Simon Danielli is also included, having recovered from shoulder surgery in the summer.
With props, BJ Botha, Declan Fitzpatrick and Adam Macklin all unavailable due to injury, Ulster have drafted in Instonians’ prop Alan Whitten, brother of Ulster centre Ian, ahead of this weekend’s match.
The Ulster starting XV and replacements will be named before 12 noon tomorrow.
Tickets for the match are still available and gates open at 5.30pm for the 7.05pm kick off
SQUAD: Forwards: Tom Court, Paddy McAllister, Bryan Young, Nigel Brady, Rory Best, Andi Kyriacou, Tim Barker, Johann Muller, Ryan Caldwell, Dan Tuohy, Willie Faloon, Chris Henry, Robbie Diack, TJ Anderson, Pedrie Wannenburg. Backs: Adam D’Arcy. David McIlwaine, Jamie Smith, Simon Danielli, Andrew Trimble, Paul Emerick, Darren Cave, Ian Whitten, Paddy Wallace, Ian Humphreys, Niall O’Connor, Paul Marshall, Ian Porter, Ruan Pienaar
Unavailable due to injury: BJ Botha, Stephen Ferris, Declan Fitzpatrick, Adam Macklin, Bryn Cunningham, David Pollock
Bit of a strange one this releasing the details of a squad of 30 ( i.e. everyone available) and then doing the team announcement less than 24 hours later? Well, I suppose it gives us this afternoon to postulate and ponder the likely team.
Plenty of hookers available, but not enough props seems to be the current problem, but I’m sure the redoubtable Brady could do a useful enough job at tighthead if required! I see Rory being rested to give the cut above his eye an opportunity to heal a bit longer and I’m going with Young, Kyriacou and Court to start.
Second row is getting harder to choose each week but I think they’ll go with Muller and Caldwell, which would probably be my choice as well with Caldwell just having the edge over Barker with the extra beef! Barker could find himself out of the squad all together as I see Tuohy filling the bench spot. Wow – that’s harsh!
Backrow should finally get round to being ballanced this week with Wannenburg, Faloon and Diack the likely starting formation and Henry on the bench.
Half backs should see the start of a beautiful relationship with Pienaar and O’Connor linking up for the first time and wings will stay the same with the two naughty boys from Connacht hoping to avoid the cards this week. ( I don’t know, but that Trimble is getting worse than Caldwell on the card front!) Emerick will surely have his appearance cut short with Danielli expected get a run in the second half.
Centres will see wily Wallace and crunching Cave team up yet again with Whitten joining Porter on the bench and full back should be Smith with D’Arcy picking up the final bench spot this week.
The FRU XXIII: (1-15) Young, Kyriacou, Court, Muller, Caldwell, Wannenburg, Faloon, Diack, Pienaar, O’Connor, Trimble, Wallace, Cave, Emerick, Smith. (16-23) Brady, McAllister, A Whitten, Tuohy, Henry, Porter, I Whitten, D’Arcy.