Preview: Ulster v Treviso

Date published: December 6 2013

Johann Muller, Jared Payne and Ruan Pienaar are in Ulster's starting XV for Saturday's Heineken Cup tie with Treviso at Ravenhill.

Johann Muller, Jared Payne and Ruan Pienaar have been named in Ulster's starting XV for Saturday's Heineken Cup tie with Treviso at Ravenhill.

Muller and Payne return having recovered from injury, while Pienaar is included after being rested for the match against Zebre in Italy last week.

The only other change to the team that started last weekend sees Sean Doyle preferred at openside, with Mike McComish moving to the bench.

Payne starts at full-back alongside Andrew Trimble and Craig Gilroy in the back three.

Darren Cave and Luke Marshall continue in midfield with Pienaar partnering Paddy Jackson in the halfbacks.

The game will be particularly significant for Paddy Jackson as it is his 50th match for Ulster.

The front row is unchanged from last weekend clash against Zebre with Tom Court starting at loosehead, Rob Herring continuing at hooker and John Afoa selected at tighthead.

Captain, Muller, returns in the second row alongside Dan Tuohy, with Sean Doyle, Roger Wilson and Robbie Diack making up the backrow.

Ulster are top of Pool Five having beaten Leicester Tigers and Montpellier.

Meanwhile, Treviso boss Franco Smith has made five changes to his side that drew with Cardiff last weekend. Treviso have been boosted by the return of several Azzurri players from international duty.

In the back-line, Luke McLean starts at full-back in place of Brendan Williams while Alberto Sgarbi replaces Christian Loamanu at inside centre and Edoardo Gori takes over from Tobias Botes at scrum-half.

In the forwards, Antonio Pavanello returns to captain the side. takes over at lock from Mark fuser while Robert Barbieri is preferred at number eight where he replaces Manoa Vosawai.

The teams:

Ulster: Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Sean Doyle, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (captain), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Callum Black, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Michael Allen, 23 David McIlwaine.

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Mat Berquist, 9 Edoardo Gori,8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Dean Budd, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Cornelius van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (capt), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto de Marchi.
Replacements:16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 19 Paul Derbyshire, 20 Marco Filippucci, 21 Christian Loamanu, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 James Ambrosini.

Date: Saturday December 7
Venue: Ravenhill
Kick-off: 18:00 (local and GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: David Rose, Paul Dix (both England)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England)