Thursday 18 April 2019

John Cooney and Jordi Murphy to start for Ulster against Dragons after being released by Joe Schmidt

John Cooney. Photo: Sportsfile
John Cooney. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

John Cooney and Jordi Murphy have both been released by Ireland to start for Ulster in this weekend's PRO14 match at Dragons.

The duo are joined in the starting side by Sean Reidy, who earns his 100th Ulster cap in the Sunday game at Rodney Parade (kick-off 3pm).

As Ulster make three changes to the team that beat Zebre, fly-half Billy Burns returning from a calf injury to start at fly-half. Pete Nelson and Dave Shanahan make way in the half-back positions.

Reidy and Murphy will be joined in the back row by Nick Timoney as Clive Ross drops out.

Alan O’Connor will continue to captain the side from the second row, where he is once again paired with Kieran Treadwell. Rob Herring, who scored three tries in a man of the match performance last weekend, retains his place at hooker, with props Eric O’Sullivan and Marty Moore completing the front five.

The familiar duo of Stuart McCloskey and Darren Cave combine in midfield, while Rob Lyttle, Robert Baloucoune and Louis Ludik will provide a mixture of flair, raw pace and composure in the back three.

On the bench, Andrew Warwick, John Andrew, Wiehahn Herbst, Ian Nagle and Matthew Rea will cover the forward options, with David Shanahan, James Hume and Peter Nelson providing the backline cover.

Ulster (15-9): Louis Ludik; Robert Baloucoune, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Rob Lyttle; Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8): Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor (Capt), Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements (16-23): Andrew Warwick, John Andrew, Wiehahn Herbst, Ian Nagle, Matthew Rea, David Shanahan, James Hume, Peter Nelson.

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