Ulster Rugby have announced a 30 man squad for Sunday’s match against Biarritz.
Ulster Coach Brian McLaughlin has named a 30 man squad ahead of this Sunday’s round 2 Heineken Cup pool match against Biarritz at the Parc des Sports Aguilera.
Stephen Ferris (shoulder girdle/ribs) and BJ Botha (wrist), who both sustained injuries in Ulster’s Magners League match against Connacht last month are available for selection.
Biarritz opened their campaign last weekend with an away win against Bath at The Rec while Ulster secured a bonus point win at Ravenhill against Aironi and currently top the pool.
The Ulster starting XV and replacements will be named on Friday
FORWARDS: Tom Court, Paddy McAllister, Bryan Young, BJ Botha, Rory Best, Nigel Brady, Andi Kyriacou, Tim Barker, Johann Muller, Ryan Caldwell, Dan Tuohy, Willie Faloon, Stephen Ferris, Robbie Diack, Pedrie Wannenburg, Chris Henry
BACKS: Adam D’Arcy, Jamie Smith, David McIlwaine, Simon Danielli, Andrew Trimble, Nevin Spence, Darren Cave, Ian Whitten, Paddy Wallace, Ian Humphreys, Niall O’Connor, Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall, Ian Porter
Unavailable due to injury: David Pollock, Declan Fitzpatrick, Adam Macklin
OK. I think they are going to want to play it tight this weekend and hope to frustrate the home side, soaking up the pressure and scoring off mistakes so the most likely selections are…
Up front Court, Botha and a rapidly recovering Best. I’ve given Rory’s arrows a bit of stick but his all round play appears to be back to it’s best. Young may get a start and Botha brough on later but I think they’ll start with the South African.
Second row looks tricky but I still find it hard to look past Muller and Barker with Tuohy to come on later.
Back row looks like it’s going to be bulky with Ferris, Wannenburg and Diack with Henry on the bench though my personal favourite would be Ferris, Faloon and Diack, with Wannenburg on the bench.
Half backs probably the most contentious with Pienaar and O’Connor starting with Humphreys falling out of the squad.
Don’t think Cave’s quite ready, with Spence on standby, so we’ll look to Wallace and Whitten.
Back three picks itself with Danielli, Trimble and Smith the obvious choices but Smith might not make it so expect McIlwaine to step up with D’Arcy moving to the bench.
FRU XXIII: (1 – 15) Court, Best, Botha, Muller, Barker, Ferris, Wannenburg, Diack, Pienaar, O’Connor, Danielli, Wallace, Whitten, Trimble, McIlwaine. (16 – 23) Kyriacou, Young, McAllister, Tuohy, Henry, Marshall, Spence, D’Arcy.