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Preview: Ulster v Zebre

14th February 2013 14:08

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SKY_MOBILE Chris Henry - Ulster Heineken Cup

Return: Chris Henry

Ulster welcome back Ireland forwards Declan Fitzpatrick, Iain Henderson and Chris Henry for the RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Zebre.

Backline players Paddy Jackson, Darren Cave and Chris Cochrane are the other players coming into the team, while there are a further two positional switches.

Dublin born winger Neil Walsh, who joined Ulster last month after a three year spell playing for Melbourne Rugby Club, could make his debut after being named among the replacements. If he makes an appearance on Friday night he will be the 46th player to represent the Province this season, 41 of which are Irish qualified.

Fitzpatrick's inclusion means Tom Court will revert back to loosehead prop, with Rob Herring again starting at hooker. Captain Johann Muller and Lewis Stevenson continue their second row partnership, while flankers Henderson and Henry are joined by Robbie Diack in the back row.

Jackson has replaced Stuart Olding at flyhalf and will line up outside Ruan Pienaar (scrum-half). Cave's return to the number 13 jersey sees Luke Marshall move inside, with Cochrane joining Andrew Trimble and Ricky Andrew in the back three.

Joining Walsh as the backline options on the bench are young Belfast Harlequins half backs Michael Heaney and Stuart Olding. Front row cover is provided by Niall Annett, Callum Black and John Afoa, who returns to the squad after a three week absence. Neil McComb and Mike McComish are also included in the 23.

Meanwhile, with the international break for the Azzurri test side two players are back in Zebre colours, with backs Paolo Buso and Gonzalo Garcia returning.

Friday will also mark the first game with Marco Bortolami as skipper of the white and black stripes after making his first start for the new Italian franchise last Sunday.

Ulster: 15 Ricky Andrew, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Chris Cochrane, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Calum Black, 18 John Afoa, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Stuart Olding, 23 Neil Walsh.

Zebre: 15 Paolo Buso, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Alberto Benettin, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Josh Sole, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Filippo Cristiano, 5 Marco Bortolami (capt), 4 Michael van Vuren, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Andrea de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Carlo Fazzari, 18 Matias Aguero, 19 Dries van Schalkwyk, 20 Nicola Belardo, 21 Alberto Chiesa, 22 Matteo Pratichetti, 23 David Odiete.

Date: Friday, February 15
Kick-off: 19:05
Venue: Ravenhill
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Paul Haycock (Ireland), Barry O'Keeffe (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

  • Ulster Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , December 6
Ulster vs Scarlets19:45
Sunday , December 14
Scarlets vs Ulster17:15
Saturday , January 17
Toulon vs UlsterTBC
Saturday , January 24
Ulster vs LeicesterTBC
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , December 20
Ospreys vs Ulster17:15
Saturday , December 27
Ulster vs ConnachtTBC
Saturday , January 3
Leinster vs Ulster14:40
Saturday , January 10
Benetton Treviso vs UlsterTBC
Wednesday, January 14
Ulster vs Benetton TrevisoTBC
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
  • Ulster Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Saturday , November 1
Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gons
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 Toulon
Saturday , October 18
Leicester 25 - 18 Ulster
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , October 11
Ulster 29 - 9 Glasgow
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Table
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon28
2Scarlets24
3Leicester Tigers24
4Ulster21