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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Fit-again Stephen Ferris to make first Ulster start since 2012

Meanwhile, Luke Marshall has recovered from concussion and is named at inside centre.

Ferris was sharp on his return to action last weekend.
Ferris was sharp on his return to action last weekend.
Image: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL FLANKER Stephen Ferris has been named in Ulster’s starting XV for the clash with Edinburgh in the RaboDirect Pro12 at Murrayfield tomorrow night [KO 7.45pm].

The 28-year-old appeared off the bench in impressive fashion during last weekend’s 26-13 victory over the Scarlets, his first on-pitch involvement for the province in 16 months, having suffered with a long-term ankle problem. His last start for the province came in November 2012 against Edinburgh.

The sight of Ferris’ name at blindside flanker for tomorrow night’s clash offers encouragement for those hoping to see the explosive back row return to full fitness and his stunning international form of 2012.

There is further positive news as Luke Marshall is selected at inside centre, having recovered from the concussion he sustained against the Dragons at the end of February.

Elsewhere, Tommy Bowe is on the right wing, making up an exciting back three with Jared Payne and Craig Gilroy. Darren Cave partners Marshall in midfield, while Paddy Jackson and Michael Heaney are the halfbacks.

Ferris is joined in the back row by Sean Doyle and Roger Wilson, with Johann Muller and Iain Henderson – who excelled off the bench in Paris last weekend – named as the locks. A front row of Tom Court, Rob Herring and John Afoa offers experience and power.

Off the bench, academy loosehead prop Andrew Warwick could make his Ulster debut, while Nick Williams, Paul Marshall and Robbie Diack offer real impact.

Ulster (v Edinburgh): Jared Payne; Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Michael Heaney; Tom Court, Rob Herring, John Afoa; Johann Muller (capt.) Iain Henderson; Stephen Ferris, Sean Doyle, Roger Wilson.

Replacements: Niall Annett, Andrew Warwick, Ricky Lutton, Dan Tuohy, Nick Williams, Robbie Diack, Paul Marshall, Stuart McCloskey.

Edinburgh (v Ulster): Jack Cuthbert; Dougie Fife, Sam Bear, Andries Strauss, Tom Brown; Carl Bezuidenhout, Grayson Hart; Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Willem Nel; Grant Gilchrist; Izak van der Westhuizen; Mike Coman (capt.), Roddy Grant, Cornell Du Preez.

Replacements: James Hilterbrand, Wicus Blaauw, Ewan McQuillin, Ollie Atkins, Tomas Leonardi, Sean Kennedy, Harry Leonard, Nick De Luca.

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Murray Kinsella

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