Six Nations boost for Ireland as Iain Henderson makes another speedy recovery to take place in Ulster team
Ireland have received a big injury boost for the remainder of the Six Nations as Ian Henderson has returned from injury ahead of schedule to take his place in the Ulster team to face Ospreys in tomorrow's Pro14 clash.
Henderson suffered a finger injury in late January having only just returned from a five-week lay-off due to an unrelated thumb problem and was expected to miss several weeks.
But he has been named Ulster's starting 15 and will partner captain Alan O’Connor in the second row.
Sean Reidy is also back from injury while Jordi Murphy and John Cooney return from Six Nations duty.
Academy prop Eric O'Sullivan, who has played in 18 of Ulster's 20 games so far this season, Rob Herring and Marty Moore complete the tight five. Clive Ross, starting for the first time this season, is joined in the back row by Nick Timoney and Jordi Murphy. The latter has been released by the Ireland coaching team.
Scrumhalf Cooney is another to be discharged from international duty and he will partner Michel Lowry at half back. It will be Lowry's first start in the flyhalf berth.
McCloskey will combine with Darren Cave in midfield, Angus Kernohan, Louis Ludik and Peter Nelson are named in the back three.
The forward replacements are John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O'Toole, Kieran Treadwell and Sean Reidy, while the backline cover will be provided by Dave Shanahan, James Hume and Rob Lyttle.
Ulster team: (15-9): P Nelson; A Kernohan, D Cave, S McCloskey, L Ludik; M Lowry, J Cooney; (1-8): E O'Sullivan, R Herring, M Moore, A O'Connor (captain), I Henderson, C Ross, J Murphy, N Timoney;
Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, A Warwick, T O'Toole, K Treadwell, S Reidy, D Shanahan, J Hume, R Lyttle.