Ulster Rugby have named a strong side to face Zebre in Parma on Saturday at 15:35 (14:35 UK/Irish time). Andrew Trimble captains the side in an appearance which will equal Roger Wilson’s all time record of 221.
There’s still no Marcell Coetzee as he is recovering from a flare up in the knee which occurred against the Cheetahs in the opening game week. Jared Payne was also expected to make his first appearance of the season this week however he does not travel but is expected to feature for Ulster in the upcoming matches.
Only Rodney Ah You retains his shirt at tight head prop as John Andrew, Peter Browne and Iain Henderson make their first starts of the season. Callum Black comes in for Kyle McCall, Matthew Rea replaces Clive Ross, Chris Henry drops out for Sean Reidy and Jean Deysel replaces Nick Timoney. Timoney makes the bench and is joined by FRU favourite, Adam McBurney who is set to make his debut.
Ulster’s first choice half back pairing, John Cooney and Christian Lealiifano, return to the side after last week’s break. Luke Marshall moves to 12 to give Stuart McCloskey a well earned rest and is partnered by Darren Cave. Charles Piutau remains at full back after an excellent outing last week and Louis Ludik and Andrew Trimble complete the back three.
Zebre recorded an outstanding 43-17 victory over Southern Kings last week, scoring six tries in the process. That was the Italians’ first victory of the campaign having lost to Cheetahs the week before as well as Scarlets and Ospreys. Despite being buoyed by last week’s thumping victory, Ulster are expected to record a comfortable victory over the side who sit fifth in Conference A.
In Ulster’s last two matches at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, the away side has scored 13 tries, but did suffer defeat three seasons ago.
The FRU predicts: Zebre will pose problems for Ulster in the first half but the away side will have enough quality to pull away from their hosts in the second half. Ulster to win and scrape a bonus point.
|Matteo Minozzi||15||Charles Piutau|
|Giulio Bisegni||14||Andrew Trimble ©|
|Tommaso Boni||13||Darren Cave|
|Tommaso Castello ©||12||Luke Marshall|
|Mattia Bellini||11||Louis Ludik|
|Carlo Canna||10||Christian Lealiffano|
|Marcello Violi||9||John Cooney|
|Renato Giammarioli||1||Callum Black|
|Johan Meyer||2||John Andrew|
|Giovanni Licata||3||Rodney Ah You|
|George Biagi||4||Pete Browne|
|David Sisi||5||Iain Henderson|
|Dario Chistolini||6||Mathew Rea|
|Oliviero Fabiani||7||Sean Reidy|
|Andrea Lovotti||8||Jean Deysel|
|Luhandre Luus||16||Adam McBurney|
|Sami Panico||17||Andy Warwick|
|Eduardo Bello||18||Wiehahn Herbst|
|Leonard Krumow||19||Kieran Treadwell|
|Jacopo Sarto||20||Nick Timoney|
|Guglielmo Palazzani||21||Dave Shanahan|
|Serafin Bordoli||22||Pete Nelson|
|Giovanbattista Venditti||23||Rob Lyttle|