Preview: Ulster v Glasgow

Date published: October 10 2014

Ulster head coach Neil Doak has made three changes to the XV that beat Edinburgh for the visit of Glasgow to Ravenhill on Saturday.

Ulster head coach Neil Doak has made three changes to the line-up that beat Edinburgh for the visit of table-toppers Glasgow to Kingspan Stadium.

With Paddy Jackson injured, Ian Humphreys is named at fly-half and will make his 88th appearance for the Province. The rest of the backline is unchanged, with Louis Ludik at full-back, Andrew Trimble on the right wing and Tommy Bowe on the left. Man of the match from last week, Stuart McCloskey, continues at inside centre, alongside Jared Payne with Paul Marshall partnering Humphreys in the half-backs.

There are two changes in the pack. Andrew Warwick is selected at loosehead in place of Ruaidhri Murphy. Ulster captain, Rory Best, maintains his place at hooker with Wiehahn Herbst retained at tighthead.

Alan O’Connor, who impressed on his first start for Ulster last week, keeps his place in the second-row and starts alongside Franco van der Merwe.

In the back-row, Ireland internationals Chris Henry and Robbie Diack start either side of Nick Williams who is selected at number eight in place of Roger Wilson.

Wilson is named as a replacement along with fellow forwards Rob Herring, Callum Black, Bronson Ross and Lewis Stevenson.

Backs Michael Heaney, Stuart Olding and Craig Gilroy complete the squad.

Luke Marshall is unavailable as he has a slight groin strain. He will be assessed on Monday to determine the extent of the injury.

Meanwhile, Sean Maitland will make his first appearance of the season for the Warriors when he starts on Saturday.

The Scotland international will line up on the right wing, with Tommy Seymour moving to the opposite side, after his two tries against Treviso last weekend.

Peter Murchie replaces Stuart Hogg at full-back to make his first start since the win over Cardiff Blues last month, while Mark Bennett comes in for Sean Lamont at outside centre and Peter Horne continues at number twelve.

In a new half-back pairing Finn Russell comes in for Duncan Weir at fly-half and Henry Pyrgos replaces Niko Matawalu at scrum-half.

Gordon Reid and Euan Murray replace Alex Allan and Rossouw de Klerk in the front-row, while Fraser Brown takes over the number two jersey from Pat MacArthur.

It’s a new second-row partnership, with Tim Swinson and Leone Nakarawa coming in for Tom Ryder and Al Kellock.

In the back-row Rob Harley and Chris Fusaro return and Josh Strauss will captain the side from number eight.

Dougie Hall could make his first appearance of the season from the bench, after recovering from an arm injury which has ruled him out of action since last season’s PRO12 Final.

Jonny Gray and Adam Ashe also return from injury and are amongst the replacements, while 18-year-old Zander Fagerson has once again been named on the bench after making his Warriors debut in last week’s win over Benetton Treviso.

Form: Ulster’s single reversal in the Guinness PRO12 this season came in Round 4 at Zebre, whilst their only loss in Belfast in the tournament since last September came at the hands of Leinster on 2nd May. Glasgow Warriors rose to the top of the PRO12 table for the first time in exactly 12 months courtesy of their maximum point victory over Treviso on Sunday. The Warriors have not been defeated in a regular season game in the PRO12 since they visited Leinster on 1st March. Glasgow have won their last three encounters with Ulster since the Ulstermen beat them 23-6 at Belfast in the European Cup in January 2013.

The teams:

Ulster: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Andrew Warwick.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 Bronson Ross, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Stuart Olding, 23 Craig Gilroy.

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Josh Strauss (c), 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Jonny Gray, 20 Adam Ashe, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 James Downey, 23 Sean Lamont.

Date: Saturday, October 11
Venue: Ravenhill
Kick-off: 17:05 local (16:05 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Correll (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)