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McLaughlin's men on Red alert

ULSTER coach Brian McLaughlin has warned his side that they could be "blown away" if they fail to match Munster's physicality at Ravenhill on Friday night.

The hosts are looking to bounce back from back-to-back defeats -- their first losses of the season -- but will have to cope without five Irish internationals for the Magners League clash.

Munster are also expected to be without a number of stars but McLaughlin warned that the visitors will still put out an impressive team.

"Munster are historically very aggressive and physical and that will be the same on Friday night," he said. "They have come off two very good wins, so they will have their tails up, and we have to meet them head-on with the same determination. If we don't match Munster's physicality they could blow us away."

Ian Humphreys and Ruan Pienaar are Ulster's likely half-back pair but midfield could have an inexperienced look to it, with Ballynahinch wing Nevin Spence in line get the nod to partner Ian Whitten.

The back three of Adam D'Arcy, Mark McCrea and David McIlwaine are likely to keep their places despite last week's defeat to Edinburgh.

Willie Faloon will be used at openside, with Pedrie Wannenburg returning to blindside in the absence of Stephen Ferris and Robbie Diack at No 8. Johann Muller will lead the side and Nigel Brady will start at hooker in Rory Best's absence.

Meanwhile, the Munster versus Leinster 'A' Interprovincial clash which was scheduled to take place in Clonmel next Tuesday has been postponed. Munster coach Anthony Foley cited player availability as the reason behind the decision.

The province are without a host of players due to international commitments, injury and suspension.

Irish Independent