Ulster make changes for Leinster

Ulster Head Coach Brian McLaughlin has named his starting XV, plus replacements, for the Ulster v Leinster Magners League game, on Saturday 26th December, kick off 5.30pm.

A number of changes have been made from the team at faced Stade Francais, in the Heineken Cup, last weekend. Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy player Jamie Smith starts at full back, with Darren Cave and Ian Whitten paired in the centre, replacing Paddy Wallace and Andrew Trimble, both of whom are being rested under the IRFU Player Management Programme. Niall O’Connor starts at fly half, in-place of Ian Humphreys, who moves to the bench.

Bryan Young replaces a rested Tom Court as loose head prop. Also being rested is flanker Stephen Ferris, who is replaced at No6 by David Pollock, with TJ Anderson as open side flanker, Willie Faloon starts as a replacement.

No 8 Chris Henry will Captain the Ulster side.

Commenting on the back to back inter-pros, Ulster Coach Brian McLaughlin said: “We are in a very tough run of games right through this whole phase.


“Right from now we have Leinster this week, Munster the following week, then Ospreys, then we are back to Europe.


“So it is a very important phase for us, especially with the Magners League being so tight, you just have to look at Glasgow, we lost and went from 2nd to 7th in the table.


” It is very, very tight and we have to be in a situation that we have to get something from every game.

“We are looking for a performance. We were very disappointed at the weekend in Paris. We thought that we had fought hard, but to fight hard just wasn’t good enough.”

“Our discipline at times let us down, and we made too many errors, which cost us dear on the day. These are things that we have got to iron out for this weekend. We will go to Dublin positive, and hopefully come away with something.

“The IRFU Player Management Programme is taking place during this phase of the League. The Irish squad players’ are only allowed to play a certain number of games, and we reckoned that the Christmas break was a good time to give them their rest.

“No disrespect to Leinster obviously, but we thought that this was a good opportunity to go down to Dublin and give some other guys in the squad a chance to play. We will have the boys back for Munster and Ospreys.

“When we play these top teams, we seem to be able to lift our game, and play a lot better.


“We always put the same effort into every game; we will look for opportunities and play accordingly, we are confident that we can go down there and get a performance.”


(15-9)Jamie Smith, Timoci Nagusa, Darren Cave, Ian Whitten, Simon Danelli, Niall O’Connor, Isaac Boss

(1-8) Bryan Young, Nigel Brady, BJ Botha, Ed O’Donoghue, Dan Tuohy, David Pollock, TJ Anderson, Chris Henry (Capt)

Replacements:(16-22) Andy Kyriacou, Declan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Caldwell, Willie Faloon, Cillian Willis, Ian Humphreys, Jonny Shiells

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