Monday 22 January 2018

Jared Payne named at full-back for Ulster's pivotal clash with Saracens

Jared Payne, Ulster, in action against RC Toulon
Jared Payne, Ulster, in action against RC Toulon

Ireland international Jared Payne makes his seasonal bow for Ulster's showdown with Saracens at Allianz Park tomorrow.

Les Kiss has been able to welcome back the naturalised Kiwi as his side look to maintain the sole Irish interest in the competition.  Payne, who has not played since sustaining a foot injury on Ireland duty at the World Cup, has been named in a back three alongside fellow internationals Craig Gilroy and Andrew Trimble.

Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall continue their impressive partnership in midfield, while influential half backs Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson occupy the half back positions.

Kyle McCall, man of the match and Kingspan MVP in Sunday's 23-24 win over Oyonnax, is named in the front row alongside captain Rory Best and Wiehahn Herbst, who has recovered from a calf strain.

Franco van der Merwe and Alan O'Connor will reunite in the second row, with Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy and Roger Wilson selected in the back row. Chris Henry has been ruled out with a slight shoulder injury.

Rob Herring, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Lewis Stevenson and Clive Ross are providing cover for the forwards, while Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys and Rory Scholes are the backline replacements.

Ulster squad to play Saracens:

J Payne, A Trimble, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar;K McCall, R Best (capt), W Herbst; A O'Connor, F van der Merwe; R Diack, S Reidy, R Wilson;

Replacements : R Herring, C Black, R Lutton, L Stevenson, C Ross, P Marshall, I Humphreys, R Scholes.

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