Ulster have named a strong site to face a weakened Zebre in the Guinness PRO12 on Sunday afternoon at Stadio Lanfranchi in Parma. Kick off 12:30 UK/IRE. Live on Sky Sports.
Ulster are missing four to Ireland, Zebre are missing eleven to Italy and looking down through the team lists below there are not a lot of areas where the Italian side are going to get much respite. Olding and Piutau return to torment them in the backs, Tommy Bowe makes his 150th Ulster appearance on the wing and Ruan Pienaar is available at scrum half to direct proceedings!
Up front Herbst and Herring return to the starting front row, Alan O’Connor joins Diak in an athletic second row and that man, and our current FRU fav Marcell Coetzee will hunt them down relentlessly from the back row. I thought he paired magnificently last week with Sean Reidy so It’ll be interesting to see how he pairs with the undervalued Clive Ross.
Unfortunately we will not now see Marcell hunting them down as he has been withdrawn due to illness. In an ideal world it shouldn’t make too much difference but it may expose Ulster’s lack of confidence if things get tight!
There’s no major step down in quality when you dip into the bench, notable for the welcome return of Jared Payne. The only unknown is David Busby, but he’s made solid progress over the last three years through the Ireland U20 set up and latterly in the Ulster A side. Busby will get his first senior cap should he be called from the bench.
The FRU Predicts: It has to be and it will be a try bonus win for Ulster as they run riot in Parma.
|Jacob Stockdale||15||Dion Berryman|
|Tommy Bowe||14||Mattia Bellini|
|Luke Marshall||13||Tommaso Boni|
|Stuart Olding||12||Matteo Pratichetti|
|Charles Piutau||11||Lloys Greeff|
|Peter Nelson||10||Serafin Bordoli|
|Ruan Pienaar||9||Guglielmo Palazzani|
|Andrew Warwick||1||Federico Ruzza|
|Rob Herring||2||Johan Meyer|
|Wiehahn Herbst||3||Dennis Bergamin|
|Robbie Diack||4||Valerio Bernabò|
|Alan O’Connor||5||Gideon Koegelenberg|
|Clive Ross||6||Guillermo Roan|
|Chris Henry||7||Oliviero Fabiani|
|Sean Reidy*||8||Bruno Postiglioni|
|John Andrew||16||Sidney Tobias|
|Callum Black||17||Andrea De Marchi|
|Ricky Lutton||18||Bartholomeus Le Roux|
|Pete Browne||19||Joshua Furno|
|Roger Wilson*||20||Davide Fragnito|
|Paul Marshall||21||Carlo Engelbrecht|
|Jared Payne||22||Tommaso Castello|
|David Busby||23||Simone Balocchi|
|* Marcell Coetzee unable to travel due to illness. Sean Reidy steps up from the bench and Roger Wilson joins the squad.|