The team’s for tomorrow nights friendly have been announced, albeit unfashionably late by Ulster Rugby. Northamptons team has been available since before 12:00pm whereas we had to wait until after five for Ulster. 😐
Not particularly fan friendly from UR but on the strength of the two teams below maybe it’s due to the fact that Northampton have more to shout about in their line up, the English side able to field their English internationals whereas Ulster are still without Best, Trimble, Jackson, Bowe, Tuohy, Olding, Marshall, Payne, Henderson, Reidy and Pienaar, for some reason.
It seems strange, with the PRO12 trying to reinvent themselves to their sponsors, that, yet again, the sponsors and supporters will be left short changed in the opening fixtures with leading players unavailable or underprepared. If the four nations involved with the PRO12 actually treated it with some respect it would maybe command the sort of broadcast revenue that they are chasing with their hare-brained schemes!
It’s unfortunate ‘cos tomorrows game could have been a cracker but, as it is, I suspect we’ll see flashes of play from Ulster as they are slowly bludgeoned out of the game by the visitors forwards, the English having enough names in their thirty man squad to thoroughly work the young Ulster pack over twice.
Speaking of youngsters, it is a reunion of sorts for Harry Mallinder and Jacob Stockdale who last met in the World Rugby U20 Championship final in June and I suspect this will be a similar result for the English.
|Charles Piutau||15||Ben Foden|
|Louis Ludik||14||Ken Pisi|
|Darren Cave||13||Luther Burrell|
|Stuart McCloskey||12||Harry Mallinder|
|Robert Lyttle||11||Ahsee Tuala|
|Brett Herron||10||Stephen Myler|
|Paul Marshall||9||Lee Dickson|
|Andrew Warwick||1||Alex Waller|
|Rob Herring||2||Dylan Hartley|
|Rodney Ah You||3||Kieran Brookes|
|Pete Browne||4||Michael Paterson|
|Franco vd Merwe||5||James Craig|
|Robbie Diack||6||Tom Wood|
|Clive Ross||7||Jamie Gibson|
|Roger Wilson||8||Louis Picamoles|
|John Andrew||16||Campese Ma’afu|
|Callum Black||17||Mikey Haywood|
|Ross Kane||18||Paul Hill|
|Alan O’Connor||19||Courtney Lawes|
|Connor Joyce||20||Jordan Onojaife|
|Matthew Rea||21||Reece Marshall|
|Dave Shanahan||22||Lewis Ludlam|
|Sam Windsor||23||Sam Dickinson|
|Jacob Stockdale||24||Nic Groom|
|28||Juan Pablo Estelles|