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Bowe set for 1st Ulster outing in 5 months against former club Ospreys

Craig Gilroy is back in the side alongside fullback Charles Piutau.

Bowe played 80 minutes, scoring two tries, against Zebre in April.
Bowe played 80 minutes, scoring two tries, against Zebre in April.
Image: Giuseppe Fama/INPHO

TABLE-TOPPING ULSTER have made four changes for tomorrow evening’s Guinness Pro12 meeting with Ospreys at Kingspan Stadium (18.30, Sky Sports).

Director of rugby Les Kiss has welcomed Rory Best back into the starting line-up, while Tommy Bowe is among the replacements and is set to feature for only the second time since his serious knee injury in the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

Craig Gilroy starts in Bowe’s favoured number 14 shirt, replacing the injured Stuart McCloskey in a back-line reshuffle that puts Jared Payne at centre and Charles Piutau fullback.

Paul Marshall will partner Paddy Jackson at half-back with Ruan Pienaar held in reserve.

Franco van der Merwe takes over as captain in the absence of Rob Herring and Andrew Trimble, absent due to player management and a foot injury respectively.

Ulster sit top of the Pro12, two points ahead of tomorrow’s opponents. Ospreys will be looking to bounce back from a resounding loss to Leinster last time out, though the Welsh province remain, by some distance, the most prolific try-scorers in the league with 24 in four matches.

Ulster

15. Charles Piutau
14. Craig Gilroy
13. Jared Payne
12. Darren Cave
11. Louis Ludik
10. Paddy Jackson
9. Paul marshall

1. Kyle McCall
2. Rory Best
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Alan O’Connor
5. Franco van der Merwe (Capt.)
6. Iain Henderson
7. Sean Reidy
8. Roger Wilson

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16. John Andrew
17. Callum Black
18. Ross Kane
19. Kieran Treadwell
20. Robbie Diack
21. Ruan Pienaar
22. Brett Herron
23. Tommy Bowe

Ospreys

15 Dan Evans
14 Jeff Hassler
13 Ben John
12 Josh Matavesi
11 Eli Walker
10 Dan Biggar
9 Rhys Webb

1 Nicky Smith
2 Sam Parry
3 Dmitri Arhip
4 Bradley Davies
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt)
6 James King
7 Justin Tipuric
8 Dan Baker

Replacements:

16 Scott Baldwin
17 Paul James
18 Ma’afu Fia
19 Rory Thornton
20 Olly Cracknell
21 Tyler Ardron
22 Tom Habberfield
23 Sam Davies

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