Hume in Ulster debut

James Hume. Pic: sportsfile

James Hume will start for Ulster for the first time against Benetton at Stadio Monigo this afternoon (KO3.0).

The Ireland U20 centre has had experience from his introductions against Munster and Connacht.

Ireland international Stuart McCloskey will provide a voice of reason and experience for Hume (inset)and wing Robert Baloucoune.

Coach Dan McFarland's commitment to blooding the next generation continues with Academy wing Baloucoune starting for a second successive Saturday.

As always, the points are the prize of what is certain to be a physical encounter, despite Benetton being denied a host of Italy internationals.

Benetton: J Hayward; R Tavuyara, I Brex, A Sgarbi, T Benvenuti, T Allan, D Duvenage; D Appiah, H Faiva, S Ferrari, I Herbst, A Zanni, D Budd (Capt), M Lamaro, M Barbini.

Replacements: T Baravalle, A De Marchi, M Riccioni, N Cannone, G Pettinelli; E Gori, A Rizzi, A Esposito.

Ulster: P Nelson; R Baloucoune, J Hume, S McCloskey, H Speight; B Burns, D Shanahan; E O'Sullivan, R Herring, M Moore, A O'Connor (Capt), K Treadwell, M Coetzee, S Reidy, N Timoney.

Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, T O'Toole, C Ross, G Jones, J Stewart, J McPhillips, A Kernohan.

Verdict: Ulster.

PRO 14benetton v ulsterLIVE today, (ko 3.0)