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Preview: Ulster v Treviso

26th September 2013 12:27

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Tommy Bowe Ulster HEC

Tommy Bowe: At 14 for Ulster

British and Irish Lions Rory Best and Tommy Bowe have been named in Ulster's starting XV for Friday's clash with Treviso at Ravenhill.

In total there are 11 Ireland internationals in the run-on side that sees seven personnel changes and three positional switches to the team that beat Connacht at the Sportsground last Saturday.

Craig Gilroy starts at full-back and is joined in the back three by Bowe who starts on the right wing and Michael Allen who retains his place in the number 11 jersey.

Jared Payne moves from 15 to outside centre where he is partnered by Luke Marshall. Paddy Jackson starts at fly-half, while Paul Marshall replaces Ian Porter at scrum-half.

Captain Rory Best starts at hooker alongside Ricky Lutton and Tom Court in the front row. Iain Henderson keeps his place in the second-row buts starts at four, with Dan Tuohy wearing the number five jersey.

In the back row, Robbie Diack is selected at blindside flanker with Roger Wilson moving to number eight. Chris Henry keeps his place at openside.

Commenting on his selection, Bowe, said: "It is great to be back. It has been a tough old pre-season with my wrist injury but I am delighted to be playing, delighted to be back fit again and looking to my first game at Ravenhill with the two new stands up."

Meanwhile, Treviso boss Franco Smith has named an unchanged matchday 23 after last weekend's excellent 29-19 victory against Munster.

The back three remains the same with Luke McLean starting at full-back and Ludovico Nitoglia and Christian Loamanu on the wings. In midfield, Alberto Sgarbi starts at inside centre alongside the young Michele Campagnaro.

Edoardo Gori starts at scrum-half with Mat Berquist, who made a good impression in his debut at Stadio Monigo last weekend, continuing at fly-half.

Up front, Alberto De Marchi is at tight-head supported by Michele Rizzo and Enrico Ceccato and Marco Fuser packs down in the second row with with captain Antonio Pavanello.

The pack is completed by the flankers Simone Favaro, Alessandro Zanni and Manoa Vosawai at number eight.

Form: Ulster's three game losing streak in the RaboDirect PRO12 ended with their 18-7 victory against Connacht in Galway on Saturday. The Ulstermen were defeated in their last game at Ravenhill Stadium, 13-12 by Glasgow, and have not lost successive games at the historic venue since April 2010. In twenty previous encounters with Italian opposition in all competitions Ulster have lost only once: 12-23 at home to Treviso in October 2011. Treviso opened their winning account for the 2013/14 season with their 29-19 victory at home to Munster on Friday. The Italians have won just one of their last eight away games - 41-17 at the Scarlets in May. The three previous clashes between the two sides at Ravenhill have been evenly split, one win apiece plus a draw.

The teams:

Ulster: 15 Craig Gilroy, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Michael Allen, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 D Tuohy, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Ricky Lutton, 2 R Best (c), 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 Bronson Ross, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Nick Williams, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 James McKinney, 23 Darren Cave.

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Christian Loamanu, 10 Mat Berquist, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Alberto De Marchi, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernaḅ, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Robert Barbieri, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo.

Date: Friday, September 27
Kick-off: 19:05 BST
Venue: Ravenhill
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: Kieran Barry (Ireland), Brian Macneice (Ireland)
Television match official: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)

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