Monday 25 September 2017

Tuohy confident Ulster can bounce back

ULSTER will be hoping for an improvement in fortunes as they return to Wales to face the Dragons this evening.

As expected, New Zealand star Jared Payne sits out the game due to a dead leg, while Ian Humphreys (shoulder) and Darren Cave (hamstring) are also sidelined.

Willie Faloon returns at the expense of Robbie Diack and Nigel Brady gets his first start of the season at hooker.

Australian-born flyer Adam D'Arcy takes Payne's spot having found himself relegated to the bench in recent weeks.

Paddy Jackson gets another chance at fly-half, while Conor Gaston, James McKinney and young teenage prop Kyle McCall are named on the bench.

Dan Tuohy starts his fifth straight game and says that last week's defeat by the Ospreys is firmly behind them.

"These things happen," said the Irish international. "I don't think we ever expected to go through the whole season undefeated.

"We just put our hands up and said that we didn't perform. We hope to change that against the Dragons. Sometimes having a game in a short turnaround time is a blessing because there's no better way to eradicate things than getting back out on the pitch.

"Two seasons ago we went to Newport and got a real hiding because we were not mentally right. Last year we were ready and we won well. Hopefully, we will be the same tonight."

Verdict: Ulster

DRAGONS -- M Thomas; T Chavhanga, T Riley, A Smith, M Poole; J Tovey, W Evans; N Williams, T Willis (Capt), N Buck, A Jones, R Sidoli; L Evans, G Thomas, A Coombs. Reps: R Buckley, P Price, K Jenkins, D Walters, J Groves, J Bedford, G O'Driscoll, M Jones.

Ulster -- A D'Arcy; C Gilroy, N Spence, L Marshall, I Whitten; I Humphreys, P Marshall; D Fitzpatrick, N Brady, J Cronin, L Stevenson, D Tuohy, P Wannenburg, C Henry (Capt), R Diack. Reps: A Kyriacou, K McCall, A Macklin, T Barker, R Diack, I Porter, J McKinney, C Gaston.

REF -- N Paterson (SRU)

Dragons v Ulster,

Live, RTE 2/BBC 2, 7.05

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