Planet Rugby

Preview: Ulster v Leinster

19th April 2012 12:27

Share:

Paddy Wallace ulster v clermont

At centre: Paddy Wallace

Ulster have recalled a number of front-line players to their starting XV for Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 match against rivals Leinster at Ravenhill.

Brian McLaughlin has made nine personnel changes and a further two positional switches to the team which lost 26-21 to Connacht last weekend, but there is no place for rested Ireland internationals Stephen Ferris and Rory Best.

Willie Faloon, Nigel Brady, Lewis Stevenson, Tom Court, Stefan Terblanche and Paddy Jackson are the survivors from the XV that started in Galway.

Jackson has moved from inside centre to fly-half in place of Ian Humphreys, with Paddy Wallace occupying the vacated spot in midfield alongside regular partner Darren Cave. Ruan Pienaar and Andrew Trimble also return to a starting jersey.

Up front, Court is named in his more familiar loosehead prop position, after starting in the tighthead role at the Sportsground.

Declan Fitzpatrick will wear the number 3 jersey after making a welcome return from a neck injury - his first taste of action in almost five months.

Johann Muller has returned to captain the side from second row where he is partnered by Stevenson, while Pedrie Wannenburg and Chris Henry are recalled to the back row alongside Faloon.

Meanwhile, Leinster have named thirteen Ireland qualified players in the starting XV including scrum-half Eoin Reddan, who is making his 60th Leinster appearance. Reddan will link up once again with Jonathan Sexton at half-back for the trip to Belfast.

Luke Fitzgerald is named in a back-three alongside the Kearney brothers. Unfortunately, Eoin O'Malley was a late withdrawal after a recurrence of his calf strain forced him from the training field, thus Fergus McFadden - who makes his 70th Leinster appearance - will partner Brian O'Driscoll at centre.

Up front, Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross start in the front-row, with All Black Brad Thorn locking down alongside skipper Leo Cullen. Kevin McLaughlin joins Dominic Ryan in the back-row alongside the returning Sean O'Brien who starts at number eight.

If Ireland scrum-half Isaac Boss, one of four Ireland internationals on the bench, is used as a replacement it will be his 50th provincial appearance.

Form: Ulster's defeat at Connacht in round 20 ended a four game winning run in the RaboDirect PRO12. The Ulstermen's only defeat at Ravenhill in their last 20 matches in all competitions was to Treviso on 17 October. Leinster have already ensured top seeding and a home semi-final in the RaboDirect PRO12. The Leinstermen have suffered just one reversal in any competition since September: 22-23 at home to Ospreys on 23 March. A Leinster win would ensure a first clean sweep by an Irish province in a season - winning all six inter-Provincial clashes. Ulster's only victory over Leinster in their last 16 meetings since May 2004 was 16-14 at Ravenhill on 24 October 2009.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Ulster: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Chris Henry, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Nigel Brady, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Adam D'Arcy.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 David Kearney, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Sean O'Brien, 7 Dominic Ryan, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Brad Thorn, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Nathan White, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fionn Carr.

Date: Friday, April 20
Kick-off: 19:05 BST
Venue: Ravenhill
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland), Ollie Hodges (Ireland)
Television match official: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs SaleExeter vs Sale Preview
Bath vs WorcesterBath vs Worcester Preview
Wasps vs GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Preview
Waratahs vs BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Preview
Sharks vs CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Preview
Stormers vs LionsStormers vs Lions Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers2064
4Bath1959
5Harlequins2058