Wallace set for No 10 role
Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin is planning to play Paddy Wallace in the No 10 jersey in the first of the season's Magners League inter-provincials against Connacht at the Sportsground on Saturday.
At the request of the Ireland management, McLaughlin will play Wallace at out-half in three matches before Christmas.
However, Wallace's appearance at half-back depends on the fitness of centre Ian Whitten, who for the second week in succession is struggling with a dead leg.
McLaughlin has decided not to rush new capture Ruan Pienaar into action. The versatile Springbok, who is expected to make his debut next week against Glasgow, started contact training with is new team-mates this week and showed yesterday that he will be a major asset from the kicking tee as he spent an hour practising from all parts of the training paddock.
With Johann Muller likely to be rested, Rory Best will take over the captaincy.
Ryan Caldwell will start alongside the impressive Tim Barker in the second-row, with Pedrie Wannenburg returning at No 8 for Robbie Diack and Stephen Ferris and Chris Henry on the flanks.
Ireland forward Dan Tuohy is named in the squad for the first time this season.