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21-year-old McIlroy starts in exciting Ulster backline to face Glasgow

Dan McFarland’s men kick off their season in Belfast tomorrow night.

McIlroy will wear the number 15 shirt.
McIlroy will wear the number 15 shirt.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

ULSTER BOSS DAN McFarland has picked an exciting backline for tomorrow’s United Rugby Championship opener against Glasgow at Kingspan Stadium [KO 7.35pm, Premier Sport], with 21-year-old Ethan McIlroy named at fullback.

Ireland internationals Robert Baloucoune and Jacob Stockdale start on the wings as Stuart McCloskey and James Hume rekindle their centre partnership, while Billy Burns partners John Cooney in the halfbacks.

Sam Carter captains the team from the second row, with Brad Roberts handed a start at hooker in a front row that also includes Andrew Warwick and Marty Moore.

Alan O’Connor is in the second row alongside Carter, with Nick Timoney, Sean Reidy, and Greg Jones making up the back row.

The bench includes 19-year-old scrum-half Nathan Doak, while Rob Herring and Will Addison have overcome injuries to be named in the matchday 23.

Ulster are missing Jack McGrath, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Cormac Izuchukwu, Jordi Murphy, Ian Madigan, Luke Marshall, Rob Lyttle, and Aaron Sexton due to injuries, while skipper Iain Henderson isn’t back yet after his Lions involvement over the summer.

Meanwhile, Glasgow have included new signings Jack Dempsey, Brad Thyer, Simon Berghan, and Sione Tuipulotu in their starting XV for the visit to Belfast.

Ulster (v Glasgow):

15. Ethan McIlroy

14. Robert Baloucoune

13. James Hume

12. Stuart McCloskey

11. Jacob Stockdale

10. Billy Burns

9. John Cooney

1. Andrew Warwick

2. Brad Roberts

3. Marty Moore

4. Alan O’Connor

5. Sam Carter (captain)

6. Greg Jones

7. Sean Reidy

8. Nick Timoney


16. Rob Herring

17. Eric O’Sullivan

18. Tom O’Toole

19. Mick Kearney

20. Matty Rea

21. Nathan Doak

22. Mike Lowry

23. Will Addison


15. Cole Forbes

14. Kyle Steyn 

13. Sione Tuipulotu

12. Sam Johnson

11. Rufus McLean

10. Duncan Weir

9. George Horne


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1. Brad Thyer 

2. Johnny Matthews

3. Simon Berghan

4. Scott Cummings

5. Richie Gray 

6. Ryan Wilson (captain)

7. Rory Darge

8. Jack Dempsey


16. Fraser Brown

17. Jamie Bhatti

18. Murray McCallum

19. Lewis Bean

20. Rob Harley

21. Jamie Dobie 

22. Ross Thompson 

23. Ollie Smith

Referee: Ben Whitehouse [WRU].

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey look ahead to the inaugural United Rugby Championship, and a massive weekend for Ireland in their bid to qualify for the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Murray Kinsella

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