The teams have been announced ahead of Ulster Rugby preparations for their friendly match against Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens which kicks off at 19:30 today.

Ulster Rugby will field a strong side with summer signing from Connacht, John Cooney making his debut at scrum half alongside Pete Nelson at out half.

Marcell Coetzee is welcomed back to the bench for the first time since March in preparation for next week’s Pro14 opener against Toyota Cheetahs

There’s no sign of the latest recruit, Christian Lealiifano, who flew into Belfast earlier in the week. Tommy Bowe lines up in outside centre, a throwback to his Ospreys’ days, with Stuart McCloskey inside him. Ulster’s back three contain serious pace with Charles Piutau starting at fullback while Louis Ludik and David Busby occupy the wing jerseys.

In the pack, FRU Player of the Season, Sean Reidy is the only notable absentee. Jean Deysel wins his first start at No.8, flanked by Chris Henry and workhorse, Clive Ross. Impressive against Wasps, Alan O’Connor retains his spot and is joined by Robbie Diack in the second row. Callum Black, Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst complete the front row with Schalk van der Merwe still injured..

Ulster will be facing a strong Saints side featuring England captain Dylan Hartley. Exciting prospect Harry Mallinder starts at outside half with returning Lions star, Courtney Lawes named on the bench. England internationals Ben Foden, Luther Burrell and Teimana Harrison all start.

Saints Select XV Ulster Rugby Select XV
Ahsee Tuala 15 Charles Piutau
Ben Foden 14 :Louis Ludik
Luther Burrell 13 Tommy Bowe
Rory Hutchinson 12
Stuart McCloskey
Tom Collins 11 David Busby
Harry Mallinder 10 Peter Nelson
Nic Groom 9 John Cooney
Alex Waller 1 Callum Black
Dylan Harley (c) 2 Rob Herring
Kieran Brookes 3 Wiehahn Herbst
David Ribbans 4 Robbie Diack
Christian Day 5 Alan O’Connor
Teimana Harrison 6 Clive Ross
Lewis Ludlam 7 Chris Henry
Mitch Eadie 8 Jean Deysel
Campese Ma’afu 16 Zack McCall
MIkey Haywood 17 Kyle McCall
Paul Hill 18 Rodney Ah You
Courtney Lawes 19 Peter Browne
James Craig 20 Marcell Coetzee
Jamie Gibson 21 David Shanahan
Sam Dickinson 22 Brett Herron
Ben Nutley 23 Andrew Trimble
Alex Mitchell 24 Andy Warwick
James Grayson 25 Jonny Simpson
Ken Pisi 26 Matthew Rea
Tom Stephenson 27 Nick Timoney
Nafi Tuitavake 28
Caleb Montgomery
Jamie Elliot 29 Paul Marshall
George Furbank 30 Jack Owens
Juan Pablo Estelles 31
Johnny McPhillips
32
Callum Patterson

#SUFTUM