Rory Best back to lead Ulster in Champions Cup showdown with Toulouse
Les Kiss has recalled captain Rory Best to the Ulster line-up for Friday's pivotal Pool 1 clash with Toulouse at the Kingspan Stadium.
Best will pack down in the front row with alongside Wiehahn Herbst and Kyle McCall, while Alan O'Connor has been given the opportunity to start in the second row with the experienced Franco van der Merwe, while Robbie Diack, Chris Henry and Nick Williams will make up the loose forward trio.
There is a new centre partnership with Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall combining in midfield. Craig Gilroy is recalled onto the left wing, with Andrew Trimble occupying the right wing berth and Louis Ludik completing the back three. Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson will continue to direct play from the half back positions.
Rob Herring, who led Ulster to a 14-7 PRO12 win over Edinburgh last weekend, is named on the replacements bench along with fellow forwards Andy Warwick, Ricky Lutton, Clive Ross and Roger Wilson. Paul Marshall and Ian Humphreys will again provide back up for Pienaar and Jackson, with Rory Scholes also included in the match day squad.
L Ludik, A Trimble, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar; K McCall, R Best (captain), W Herbst, A O'Connor, F van der Merwe, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams;
Replacements : R Herring, A Warwick, R Lutton, C Ross, R Wilson, P Marshall, I Humphreys, R Scholes.
C Poitrenaud; V Clerc, G Fickou, T Flood, M Médard; L McAlister, S Bézy; V Kakovin, C Flynn, C Johnston, Y Maestri, J Tekori, Y Camara, T Dusautoir, L Picamoles.
Replacements: J Marchand, C Baille, D Aldegheri, E Maka, G Lamboley, G Galan, JM Doussain, A Palisson.