The teams for Friday nights PRO12 match between Ulster an Munster were announced earlier this morning with Ulster making eight changes to the team that started against Exeter. 

Callum Black, Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst, Dan Tuohy and Robbie Diack all come into the pack with the inclusion of Tuohy and Herbst particularly pleasing. 

In the backs, Darren Cave, Craig Gilroy and Tommy Bowe all come into the starting line up and on the face of it, despite injuries and player management, you would have to say that Ulster can still field an impressive back line.

Piutau, Bowe and Gilroy could be the most exciting combination yet in the back three and Cave and Marshall are a good ball handling midfield who won’t shirk their defensive duties plus of course we have the first choice halfbacks in Pienaar and Jackson, though it is a surprise that Jackson is still available, I suspect we’ll only see him for the first half. 

The forwards aren’t that bad either. Black, Herring and Herbst wouldn’t be that far off first pick and the same goes for Tuohy and van der Merwe so you have got to be happy with that front five, which we all know controls the game. However the back row will be stretched by their opposite numbers and I think it’s this battle that will determine the outcome of the game. 

On paper, you would have to say that Ulster are clear favourites but it’s how they perform on the pitch that is going to matter and both sides have a history of being turned over by supposedly weaker sides, in this fixture in particular. 

The old mantra of “who want’s it most will win” holds true and how Munster respond to last weekend’s heroic efforts is probably key to deciding this game. Ulster have the ball players and Munster have that indomitable team spirit but if Ulster meet them head to head up front they should take this one. 

The FRU Predicts. Ulster have looked over coached the last few outings and I’d like to see them cut loose and play what is in front of them instead of going through a plethora of set moves. If they do I suspect they will win, and win with something to spare. One can only hope. #SUFTUM

ULSTER   MUNSTER
Charles Piutau 15 Andrew Conway
Tommy Bowe 14 Darren Sweetnam
Luke Marshall 13 Jaco Taute
Darren Cave 12 Rory Scannell
Craig Gilroy 11 Ronan O’Mahony
Paddy Jackson 10 Ian Heatley
Ruan Pienaar 9 Duncan Williams
Callum Black 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Rob Herring 2 Niall Scannell
Wiehahn Herbst 3 John Ryan
Dan Tuohy 4 Donnacha Ryan
Franco vd Merwe 5 Billy Holland
Robbie Diack 6 Peter O’Mahony
Sean Reidy 7 Tommy O’Donnell
Roger Wilson 8 Jack O’Donnell
     
John Andrew 16 Vincent O’Brien
Kyle McCall 17 Brian Scott
Andrew Warwick 18 Stephen Archer
Clive Ross 19 Darren O’Shea
Conor Joyce 20 Robin Copeland
Paul Marshall 21 Abriel Griesel
Brett Heron 22 Alex Wooton
Jacob Stockdale 23 Dan Goggin

#SUFTUM