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Heeeeeere's Tommy! Bowe to start for Ulster against Dragons

Mark Anscombe has made a total of seven changes from the side which lost to Saracens last weekend.

Bowe came off the bench against Saracens last weekend.
Bowe came off the bench against Saracens last weekend.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

TOMMY BOWE WILL make his first start in almost four months when he lines out for Ulster tomorrow night.

The Ireland winger, who has been sidelined since December with a knee ligament injury, came off the bench as Ulster crashed out of the Heineken Cup against Saracens and now returns to Mark Anscombe’s starting XV for the Pro12 clash against the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Anscombe makes a total of seven changes from the side which lost at Twickenham including a start for Stuart Olding who replaces the concussed Luke Marshall. Paddy Jackson is rested and so Ruan Pienaar switches to out-half with Paul Marshall partnering him in the half-backs.

Johann Muller’s bicep injury sees Iain Henderson move into the second row alongside Dan Tuohy. Robbie Diack, Mike McComish and Nick Williams make up the back row.

Rory Best captains the side in Muller’s absence.

Meanwhile Michael Swift’s return is Connacht’s only change ahead of tomorrow’s trip to take on Edinburgh in Murrayfield. Swift missed Connacht’s last two games through injury but returns to the second row where he partners Ireland international Mike McCarthy.

“Edinburgh is a huge game for us and it is still our intention to better last year’s finish in the league,” coach Eric Elwood said.

“We have Treviso to play away and we’ve two tough games to finish in Ulster and Glasgow who are in the top four. But we still have a hell of a lot to play for in those four games.

“There are a lot of things still in our control. We are still looking for that betterment and that improvement year on year. And that’s very much a target in our sights. It starts this weekend now in Edinburgh.”

Ulster (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Peter Nelson; Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Stuart Olding, Craig Gilroy; Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall; Tom Court, Rory Best (c), Ricky Lutton; Iain Henderson, Dan Tuohy; Robbie Diack, Mike McComish, Nick Williams. Replacements: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Declan Fitzpatrick, Lewis Stevenson, Ali Birch, Niall O’Connor, Mike Allen, Adam D’Arcy.
Connacht (v Edinburgh): Robbie Henshaw; Danie Poolman, Eoin Griffin, Brian Murphy, Gavin Duffy (c); Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney; Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy; Mick Kearney, John Muldoon, George Naoupu. Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Rodney Ah You, JP Cooney, Andrew Browne, Mata Fifita, Paul O’Donohoe, Miah Nikora, Fetu’u Vainikolo.

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Niall Kelly

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