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Dublin: 6°C Monday 1 March 2021

Stockdale at fullback with fellow former U20 star McPhillips primed for Ulster debut

Meanwhile, Darren Cave will win his 200th cap for his province on John Cooney’s return to Galway.

McPhillips in action against London Scottish in January.
McPhillips in action against London Scottish in January.
Image: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

LES KISS HAS stepped up preparation for the immediate future after Christian Lealiifano’s exit with the selection of bright young talent Johnny McPhillips on the bench for tomorrow’s trip to face Connacht (19.35, TG4 and BBC).

Lealiffano will return to Australia when the Champions Cup pool stage concludes in January having travelled north as emergency cover with Paddy Jackson unavailable.

McPhillips showed himself to be an assured presence at out-half as Ireland U20 pushed their way to the Junior World Championship final in 2016. More recently, he has been building form in the B and I Cup with Ulster A.

While the 20-year-old sits in reserve behind Peter Nelson waiting for his first Ulster cap, Darren Cave will hit the 200 mark when he starts in the centre alongside Louis Ludik. With Jacob Stockdale an exciting selection at fullback, Craig Gilroy and Andrew Trimble take up Ulster’s wing slots while former Connacht man John Cooney returns to Galway on the back of excellent form in Ulster’s Champions Cup bonus point win over Harlequins.

Up front, Iain Henderson again captains from the back row, with Robbie Diack partnering academy lock Matt Dalton in the engine room behind a front row of Andy Warwick, John Andrew and Wiehahn Herbst.

Ulster (v Connacht)

15. Jacob Stockdale
14. Craig Gilroy
13. Louis Ludik
12. Darren Cave
11. Andrew Trimble
10. Peter Nelson
9. John Cooney

1. Andy Warwick
2. John Andrew
3. Wiehahn Herbst
4. Matthew Dalton
5. Robbie Diack
6. Iain Henderson (Capt)
7. Sean Reidy
8. Nick Timoney


16. Adam McBurney
17. Schalk van der Merwe
18. Ross Kane
19. Matthew Rea
20. Clive Ross
21. Paul Marshall
22 Johnny McPhillips
23. Rob Lyttle

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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