Dan McFarland has named a strong panel for the trip to Glasgow tomorrow in Ulster’s final pre-season outing before the new season starts.
Returning internationals, Will Addison and Rob Herring are named in the starting team while Jack McGrath and Jordi Murphy are among the replacements.
Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring and Marty Moore form a first choice front row with Kieran Treadwell and Sam Carter in the engine room. It’s a welcome return to the fold for Moore who missed a lot of last season due to injury but made his presence felt in the games he appeared in. Matty Rea, Sean Reidy and Nick Timoney are Ulster’s back row options.
John Cooney and Billy Burns are the half backs with the latter captaining the side for the second time in a row. Stuart McCloskey joins new signing Matt Faddes in the centre with the Kiwi fresh off a good performance last week. Rob Lyttle, Craig Gilroy and Will Addison occupy the 11, 14 and 15 jerseys respectively.
Bill Johnson will make his first appearance in an Ulster jersey from the bench along with James Hume, Michael Lowry and Dave Shanahan who had great cameos last week.
I don’t tend to read much into friendly matches as they are all about getting the players up to match speed ahead of the new season. However Ulster put in a good shift last week, recording a comfortable victory against a much changed Glasgow side.
Obviously Glasgow are heavily affected by the World Cup and I’d make Ulster favourites ahead of tomorrow but it’ll still take a good performance to topple last year’s PRO14 finalists. Glasgow’s side is still strong with Scottish internationals, Huw Jones, D’arcy Rae, Rob Harley and Chris Fusaro starting alongside Australian scrum half Nick Frisby.
The FRU predicts: I’m siding with an Ulster victory tomorrow. The home side are trying out a few new combinations which will likely affect their game. Ulster by 12.
|Glenn Bryce||15||Will Addison|
|Kyle Steyn||14||Craig Gilroy|
|Huw Jones||13||Matt Faddes|
|Stafford McDowall||12||Stuart McCloskey|
|Rory Hughes||11||Rob Lyttle|
|Brandon Thomson||10||Billy Burns|
|Nick Frisby||9||John Cooney|
|Oli Kebble||1||Eric O’Sullivan|
|Johnny Matthews||2||Rob Herring|
|D’Arcy Rae||3||Marty Moore|
|Andrew Davidson||4||Kieran Treadwell|
|Tim Swinson||5||Sam Carter|
|Rob Harley||6||Matthew Rea|
|Chris Fusaro||7||Sean Reidy|
|Adam Ashe||8||Nick Timoney|