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Wallace leads out Ulster for crucial Edinburgh tilt

PADDY WALLACE becomes the latest player to skipper Ulster as they look to continue their remarkable home run against Heineken Cup quarter-finalists Edinburgh.

Brian McLaughlin's men have lost just once in 18 matches at Ravenhill and will be in confident mood against a side who have struggled to match their strong European showings on the Celtic front.

The Scots are second from bottom of the Pro12 table, sandwiched between Connacht and Aironi and although Michael Bradley has named a strong looking team, Ulster appear to hold all the aces.

Ian Whitten partners Wallace in the centre in the absence of the injured Nevin Spence, and the duo can expect good ball from the imposing partnership of Paul Marshall and Ruan Pienaar.

Johann Muller remains out, but Ulster remain strong up front, with John Afoa and Paddy McAllister flanking Andy Kyriacou in the front -row, Louis Stevenson and Dan Tuohy providing power in the engine room and a back-row of Pedrie Wannenburg, Willie Faloon and Robbie Diack looking balanced.

Currently fifth, McLaughlin knows his side need to win this match to go into the break in good shape and with the firepower at their disposal, they should be targeting a bonus point.

Bradley wants a show of strength from his side and the Visser brothers on the wing will have to be watched. But they make the trip after five league defeats in a row and with the knowledge that Belfast is not a happy hunting ground for Scottish clubs.

Verdict: Ulster.

Ulster -- A D'Arcy; C Gilroy, I Whitten, P Wallace (capt), S Terblanche; R Pienaar, P Marshall; P McAllister, A Kyriacou, J Afoa, L Stevenson, D Tuohy, P Wannenburg, W Faloon, R Diack. Repls: N Brady, C Black, A Macklin, N McComb, M McComish, I Humphreys, L Marshall, C Cochrane.

Edinburgh -- T Brown; S Visser, M Scott, J Houston, T Visser; P Godman, C Leck; K Traynor, A Kelly, U Gamboa; G Gilchrist, S Co; S McInally, R Grant (capt), N Talei. Reps: A Walker, R Hislop, J Gilding, R McAlpine, H Walton, A Black, H Leonard, C Paterson.

Ref -- Nigel Owens (WRU)

Ulster v Edinburgh,

Live, BBC NI, 7.05

Irish Independent