Marshall gets chance to showcase talent
Published 25/02/2011 | 05:00
Teenager Luke Marshall is given a major chance to move up the ladder when he was named in the Ulster starting line-up for tonight's Magners League date with second-placed Cardiff Blues at Ravenhill (7.05).
With Paddy Wallace on international duty at Murrayfield, the talented Marshall gets the nod to partner Nevin Spence in midfield ahead of Ian Whitten.
The 19-year-old from Ballymena had a brief foray in a senior Ulster jersey on New Year's Day when he lined out against Munster at Thomond Park.
However, with Brian McLaughlin not afraid to toss young talent into the fray, the square-shoulder Ulster Academy star has a big chance to further his cause for his first start at Ravenhill.
"He will do well," said Spence, who himself has been a revelation this season along with another Academy star Craig Gilroy, who again starts on the left wing. "Paddy Jackson did well last week and there is a lot of youth coming through with the likes of Craig and now Luke, so it looks good for the future."
Marshall will have plenty of experience around him, with Ian Humphreys returning from a shoulder injury to partner Ruan Pienaar at half-back, while Andrew Trimble has been released from international duty to take his place on the right wing.
The province yesterday confirmed that BJ Botha will be leaving them at the end of the season with a move to Munster looking most likely and the South African is out for this clash.
Up front, Bryan Young comes in for Tom Court, while Willie Faloon replaces TJ Anderson in the back-row with Chris Henry moving to blindside.
Ulster -- A D'Arcy; A Trimble, N Spence, L Marshall, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, R Pienaar; B Young, A Kyriacou, D Fitzpatrick; J Muller (capt), T Barker; C Henry, P Wannenburg, W Faloon. Reps: N Brady, J Cronin, P McAllister, R Caldwell, TJ Anderson, P Marshall, T Seymour, I Whitten.
Cardiff --D Fish; R Mustoe, G Evans, D Hewitt ,T James; C Sweeney, R Downes; T Filise, T Rhys Thomas, S Andres; D Jones, P Tito (capt); A Pretorus, M Williams, X Rush. Reps: G Williams, N Trevett, S Hobbs, B White, M Molitika, T Slater, G Davies, J Loxton.
Ulster v Cardiff Blues,
Live, BBC2, 7.05