Payne was ruled as a 'maybe' for a long period after injuring his foot against South Africa. Dan Sheridan/INPHO
payne game

Jared Payne in line for first appearance since Springbok Test as McCloskey commits to contract

Louis Ludik is back in the starting line-up as one of just two changes from the defeat to Leinster.


ULSTER COACH NEIL Doak has made two changes from the side that lost to Leinster last time out for tomorrow’s visit to Treviso (Saturday, KO 14.00).

With Franco van der Merwe suffering with a chest infection, Alan O’Connor comes in to the second row alongside Dan Tuohy who agreed a three-year contract extension with the province yesterday.

Louis Ludik is restored to the fullback berth at the expense of Peter Nelson. It’s his partner on the bench that is the biggest positive for Ulster, however. Jared Payne will wear the number 22 shirt on his return from a foot injury sustained in Ireland’s win over South Africa, his international debut, in November.

Back on the field, Tommy Bowe has shaken off a dead leg to take up his place on the right wing and the presence of Ruan Pienaar, Paddy Jackson, Craig Gilroy, Stuart Olding and Darren Cave makes for an exciting combination of Ulster attackers in Italy.

Updated 17.15

The province have also been boosted this afternoon by the news that promising centre Stuart McCloskey has committed to senior terms on a two-year contract.

“Ever since he made his debut last season, Stuart has looked completely at home in an Ulster shirt,” team manager Bryn Cunningham says of the abrasive centre.

“He has all the talents and physical attributes required to make it to the very top – his pace, huge strength and skill have resulted in him causing problems for every defence he has been up against. He is only going to get better.”

Ulster (v Treviso)

15. Louis Ludik

14. Tommy Bowe

13. Darren Cave

12. Stuart Olding

11. Craig Gilroy

10. Paddy Jackson

9. Ruan Pienaar:

1. Callum Black

2. Rory Best

3. Wiehahn Herbst

4. Alan O’Connor

5. Dan Tuohy

6. Robbie Diack

7. Clive Ross

8. Roger Wilson.


16. Rob Herring

17. Andrew Warwick

18. Bronson Ross

19. Lewis Stevenson

20. Sean Reidy

21. Paul Marshall

22. Jared Payne

23. Peter Nelson.

Originally published 12.30

Keith Earls and James Cronin on the bench for Munster trip to Zebre

Leinster creeping closer to full strength as fans get another chance to see BOD’s potential successor


Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.