Teams are up for Friday night’s Guinness PRO12 match between Ulster Rugby and Cardiff Blues which takes place at Ravenhill. Kick off 19:35, live on BBCNI.
Ulster welcome back Rory Best and Paddy Jackson to the starting line up with Stuart Olding moving from out half to inside centre to accommodate Jackson. Roger Wilson replaces Chris Henry and Andrew Trimble makes his return from injury with a start from the bench.
Nick Timoney joins the squad for the first time this season and will take the players used this season up to 48 if he makes an appearance from the bench. For those of you that read our last article here the “Ulster” representation for this squad is 48%.
Cardiff have made four changes to their starting line up, the most notable, for Ulster fans at least, being Nick Williams dropping to the bench to allow the return of Ellis Jenkins at blindside with Josh Navidi moving to No. 8.
It’s still a strong back row for the Blues and they look like they will cause Ulster problems and with big Nick to come on in the second half it’s unlikely that those problems will lessen as the game goes on. A clear advantage for the visitors in my book.
Ulster do have the backs (as always) to create plenty of problems but I worry about the pack and the back row in particular. They will need to find some get up and go that they haven’t found too often this season so I suppose we’ll find out how determined they are to hold on to their top four spot.
Cardiff, on the other hand, are in the battle for Champions Cup qualification and If I was in charge I would certainly be regarding an away trip to a vulnerable Ulster as one of the games where you could pick up a few points. I really can see this one going either way.
The FRU Predicts: I can’t see anything but a close one here, with Ulster just about coming out on top – hopefully! #SUFTUM
|ULSTER RUGBY||CARDIFF BLUES|
|Jared Payne||15||Rhun Williams|
|Craig Gilroy||14||Alex Cuthbert|
|Luke Marshall||13||Rey Lee-Lo|
|Stuart Olding||12||Willis Halaholo|
|Charles Piutau||11||Blaine Scully|
|Paddy Jackson||10||Gareth Anscombe|
|Ruan Pienaar||9||Lloyd Williams|
|Andrew Warwick||1||Gethin Jenkins|
|Rory Best||2||Matthew Rees|
|Wiehahn Herbst||3||Taufa’ao Filise|
|Kieran Treadwell||4||George Earl|
|Alan O’Connor||5||Jarrad Hoeata|
|Iain Henderson||6||Ellis Jenkins|
|Sean Reidy||7||Sam Warburton|
|Roger Wilson||8||Josh Navidi|
|Rob Herring||16||Kirby Myhill|
|Callum Black||17||Corey Domachowski|
|Rodney Ah You||18||Kieron Assiratti|
|Robbie Diack||19||James Down|
|Nick Timoney||20||Nick Williams|
|Paul Marshall||21||Tomos Williams|
|Jacob Stockdale||22||Steve Shingler|
|Andrew Trimble||23||Matthew Morgan|