The teams have been announced for tonight’s pre-season friendly match between Ulster and Wasps which takes place at Ravenhill, kick off 19:30.
It’s a pity it clashes directly with the France v Ireland 2017 Women’s World Cup fixture which is a poor piece of planning by Ulster Rugby who will be hosting the World Cup Semi Finals and Finals next week! The France v Ireland game kicks off at 19:45 and will be shown live on ITV 4. 😯
All the fans will have been hoping to see Christian Lealiifano start but that now looks like it was a premature announcement, no doubt timed to put pressure on the IRFU to allow the deal to go through. Instead it looks like Brett Herron and Peter Nelson will fill the out half berth in a match that will see Ulster effectively field two teams throughout the night.
There will also be no early sighting of Ulster’s confirmed signings, John Cooney or Schalk van der Merwe, maybe Cooney hasn’t been able to find boots big enough yet, but Jean Deysel should get an run out from the bench. It’s also disappointing, and worrying, not to see Marcell Coetzee in the team sheet.
Wasps will be missing their England and Lions contingent with Daly, Eastgate, Eastmond, Gaskell, Gopperth, Haskell, Hughes, Jones, Launchbury, Le Roux, Lundberg, Moore, Mullan, Simpson, Stuart, Taylor, Umaga, West, and Young all not making the trip so the match won’t give any real indications of what’s going to happen when these sides meet in the European Champions Cup.
Of interest is the inclusion of Adam McBurney as one of the replacement hookers and Aaron Cairns as one of the replacement scrum halfs.
McBurney, had a particularly impressive U20’s Championship in 2016 and shows huge potential in what is one of Ulster’s more competitive positions. Cairns has been tried out by Ulster in a couple of positions over the years but it looks like the’s going to be given a chance at scrum half this season. It may take him a game or two to settle in but his attitude has always impressed.
|ULSTER SELECT XV||WASPS SELECT XV|
|Louis Ludik||15||Rob Miller|
|Andrew Trimble||14||Marcus Watson|
|Callum Patterson||13||Brendan Macken|
|Stuart McCloskey||12||Gaby Lovobalavu|
|Craig Gilroy||11||Josh Bassett|
|Brett Herron||10||Danny Cipriani|
|Paul Marshall||9||Craig Hampson|
|Callum Black||1||Simon McIntyre|
|John Andrew||2||Ashley Johnson|
|Wiehahn Herbst||3||Jake Cooper-Woolley|
|Peter Browne||4||Will Rowlands|
|Alan O’Connor||5||Kearnan Myall|
|Clive Ross||6||Jack Willis|
|Chris Henry||7||Guy Thompson|
|Nick Timoney||8||Alex Rieder|
|Rob Herring||16||Tom Cruse|
|Adam McBurney||17||Ben Harris|
|Andy Warwick||18||Paul Doran-Jones|
|Kyle McCall||19||Matt Symons|
|Rodney Ah You||20||Marcus Garratt|
|Jonny Simpson||21||Antonio TJ Harris|
|Robbie Diack||22||Dan Robson|
|Jean Deysel||23||Juan De Jongh|
|Caleb Montgomery||24||Guy Armitage|
|Matthew Rea||25||Christian Wade|
|Aaron Cairns||26||Owain James|