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Dublin: 5°C Sunday 28 February 2021

Cooney recalled but Coetzee misses out as Ulster eye up semi-final spot

Dan McFarland has made four changes to the side that were defeated by Leinster in last week’s Pro14 final.

Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

JOHN COONEY HAS won his place back in the Ulster team for tomorrow’s Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulouse.

The Ireland scrum-half was unexpectedly dropped by Dan McFarland for last Saturday’s Pro14 final but has won the nod for tomorrow’s game ahead of Alby Mathewson, who drops to the bench.

Cooney is one of four changes to the side that played in Saturday’s 27-5 defeat to Leinster.

He will be paired with Billy Burns at half-half, while the rest of the starting backline remains unchanged. Michael Lowry is named at full-back, with Jacob Stockdale and Rob Lyttle on the wings. Midfield duo, Stuart McCloskey and James Hume, will once again start.

In the front row, Jack McGrath comes in at loosehead to join Rob Herring at hooker and Tom O’Toole at tighthead prop. Iain Henderson will lead the side and is joined by Alan O’Connor in the second row. Sean Reidy makes a positional switch to blindside, while Jordi Murphy and Nick Timoney come in to the starting XV at openside and number eight.

A blow for Ulster is that Marcell Coetzee will miss out after he was forced to withdraw after just 48 minutes of last weekend’s loss to Leinster in the PRO14 final.

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The Springbok has not recovered from that injury which was described by McFarland as a ‘tightening up’ issue.

McFarland has again gone for a 6-2 split on the bench. John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Kieran Treadwell and Matthew Rea will provide forward options, while Mathewson and Matt Faddes offer cover for the backs.


Michael Lowry, Rob Lyttle, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.), Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Kieran Treadwell, Alby Mathewson, Matt Faddes, Matthew Rea.

Ulster v Toulouse, Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Sunday at Stade Ernest-Wallon, kick-off 12.30pm Irish time, live on BT Sport, Channel 4 & Virgin Media.

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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