Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson benched for Ulster's rescheduled trip to Oyonnax

Paddy Jackson, Ulster, kicks a conversion. European Rugby Champions Cup, Pool 1, Round 4, Toulouse v Ulster. Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse, France. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Paddy Jackson, Ulster, kicks a conversion. European Rugby Champions Cup, Pool 1, Round 4, Toulouse v Ulster. Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse, France. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ulster have made eight changes to the side that was narrowly beaten by Munster in Belfast last week for their crucial Champiopns Cup clash with Oyonnax in the south of France on Sunday.

Head coach Les Kiss has stuck to his player management programme and rested a number of senior players who have been in action over the Christmas and New Year period.

He welcomes back Craig Gilroy from injury and he lines out at full-back.

Sammy Arnold will start his first European game on the right wing, with Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall continuing their midfield partnership. Rory Scholes occupies the left wing berth.

Ian Humphreys and Paul Marshall are selected at half-back with Paddy Jackson and Ruan Pienaar named on an experienced replacements' panel.

Prop Wiehahn Herbst hasn't recovered from a knock he received last weekend; Ricky Lutton takes his place in the front row alongside Captain Rory Best and Kyle McCall.

Callum Black, Rob Herring and Bronson Ross will provide front row cover from the bench.

Lewis Stevenson replaces Alan O'Connor, who also hasn't recovered from a knock he picked up against Munster, in the second row alongside Franco van der Merwe.

There is one change in the back row, after a physically demanding stretch of games, Nick Williams is replaced at number 8 by Roger Wilson. Williams will be joined by Sean Reidy on the bench. Robbie Diack and Chris Henry remain on the flanks.

Ulster: (15-9) Craig Gilroy; Sam Arnold, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Rory Scholes; Iain Humphreys, Paul Marshall; (1-8): K McCall, Rory Best (capt), Rickie Lutton; Louis Stevenson, Franco van der Merwe; Robbie Diack, Chis Henry, Roger Wilson.

Replacements (16-23): Rob Herring, Calum Black, B Ross, Nick Williams, Sean Reidy, Ruan Pienaar, Paddy Jackson, Louis Ludik.

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