The Ulster team to play Munster tomorrow in the New Year’s Day Interprovincial clash at Thomond Park, has been named.
Rory Best returns from the fractured cheekbone injury he sustained during the Autumn International series to captain a much changed side. Following last Monday’s defeat to Leinster and ahead of a busy January, Coach Brian McLaughlin has taken the opportunity to rotate his players.
The match will be shown live on BBC2 NI and ko is at 7.30pm
ULSTER (15-9) Jamie Smith; Tommy Seymour, Ian Whitten, Luke Marshall, Simon Danielli; Paddy Wallace, Paul Marshall (1-8) Bryan Young, Rory Best (Captain), Declan Fitzpatrick, Tim Barker, Ryan Caldwell, TJ Anderson, Willie Faloon, Robbie Diack
Replacements (16-23) Andi Kryiacou, Tom Court, BJ Botha, Neil McComb, Chris Henry, Ian Porter, Paddy Jackson, David McIlwaine
It’s always a dangerous game to try and pick and chose your victories and defeats and, unless there is some sort of reciprocal agreement with Munster to field a similarly inexperienced team, Ulster have made a dramatic miss-calculation, one that could quite easily come back and bite them on the bum in the next few weeks. If, on the other hand, it’s a team which has been chosen, in part, by the management at the IRFU then they have made an even bigger cock-up than the one they made over ticket prices for the November Internationals.
Either way it’s a bit of kick of the teeth for the paying supporter who will be travelling to Limerick to see a team minus Muller, Wannenburg, and Pienaar the three marquee signings who, we were assured, were supposed to be available for exactly matches like this. It is beyond all reason if the case is that the IRFU think they can ignore the Magners League and the Heineken Cup build up and call this trials match to have a look at all the players that they failed to develop through the international programme.
Mr McLaughlin et al better hope for an unexpected Ulster win and that Ulster qualify for the Heineken Cup knock out stages or it’s going to be a stormy start to the New Year! Humh!