PRO12 Preview: Ulster vs. Edinburgh

Ulster

Ulster and Edinburgh in action at Murrayfield last season. (c) Alex Sanz.

Friday 2nd March, 19.05 (BBCNI)

Ravenhill is the venue tomorrow evening as Ulster host an Edinburgh side who have lost their last three games in the PRO12. The home side are looking to complete the double over their visitors this season. A hand injury has ruled Nevin Spence out, meaning Adam D’Arcy comes into the side. D’Arcy’s inclusion at fullback means a re-jig of the backline, with Stefan Terblanche moving onto the left wing and Ian Whitten relocating to outside centre.

Paul Marshall and Ruan Pienaar form the half-back partnership for the second week running. With Chris Henry travelling to Paris to provide cover for the Ireland squad, Pedrie Wannenburg moves to the openside, meaning a return to the starting 15 for Robbie Diack at No.8. Luke Marshall and Chris Cochrane are two exciting young players to watch off the bench for Ulster.

Edinburgh boss Michael Bradley has made four changes to the side which lost to Connacht last weekend. Sep Visser comes onto the right wing, opposite his prolific brother Tim. John Houston is included at inside centre while Phil Godman returns at flyhalf. The only change up front is the inclusion of recent signing Ulises Gamboa at tighthead.

As mentioned above, Edinburgh are on a bad run without their international contingent. A home loss to the Ospreys was followed up with away defeats to the Dragons and Connacht. That has resulted in Bradley’s men dropping to 11th in the league. Meanwhile, Ulster come into this weekend sitting 5th and hoping for another win to boost their play-off chances. Verdict: Ulster by 6-10 points.

Ulster: 15 Adam D’Arcy, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Paddy Wallace (capt.), 11 Stefan Terblanche, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Pedrie Wannenburg, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Lewis Stevenson, 3 John Afoa, 2 Andi Kyriacou, 1 Paddy McAllister.
Subs: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Callum Black, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Ian Humphreys, 22 Luke Marshall, 23 Chris Cochrane.

Edinburgh: 15 Tom Brown, 14 Sep Visser ,13 Matt Scott, 12 John Houston, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Chris Leck, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Roddy Grant (capt.), 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Ulises Gamboa, 2 Andrew Kelly, 1 Kyle Traynor.
Subs: 16 Alun Walker, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 Robert McAlpine, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Alex Black, 22 Harry Leonard, 23 Chris Paterson.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales).

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Photo courtesy:  Alex Sanz.

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