INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Zebo in for Munster, Tommy Bowe named on Ulster bench for Heineken Cup 1/4 final

The Irish provinces were boosted by team news this afternoon.

ULSTER HAVE BEEN given a massive fitness boost after Tommy Bowe came through full training this week and has been named in the matchday squad to face Saracens on Saturday.

Bowe, who has been out of action with a knee injury following a hyper-extension against Northampton Saints, will take his place on the replacements bench at Twickenham. The news will hearten Ulster fans, already in buoyant mood following a 22-18 away win over reigning Heineken Cup champions Leinster last weekend.

If Bowe can stay injury free until the end of the season he will hope to make scoring contributions to a Pro12 and European Cup double. Having performed strongly on the 2009 Lions tour and earned the praise of Lions coach Warren Gatland on numerous occasions in the past, the Monaghan winger will be hopeful of wearing the red jersey against the Wallabies this summer.

Gatland will be in attendance at the European games for Leinster, Ulster and Munster over the course of the weekend. Mark Anscombe was also delighted to name inside centre Luke Marshall and prop John Afoa in his starting line-up for Saturday’s clash.

An expected crowd of more than 43,000 supporters will file into the London rugby venue in what is expected to be one of the ties of the knock-out stages.

Saracens lead the Aviva Premiership while Ulster, who will be captained by lock Johann Muller, are second in the Pro12.

Elsewhere, Simon Zebo has been passed fit and selected for Munster ahead of their game with Harlequins. Skipper Doug Howlett misses out with an injured shoulder however; Denis Hurley gets the nod in his place while Paul O’Connell captains the side.

Ulster XV:

J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, C Gilroy, P Jackson, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (c), D Tuohy, I Henderson, C Henry, N Williams
Replacements: R Herring, C Black, R Lutton, R Diack, M McComish, P Marshall, S Olding, T Bowe

Munster XV: F Jones; D Hurley, C Laulala, J Downey, S Zebo; R O’Gara,  C Murray;  D Kilcoyne , M Sherry BJ Botha; D Ryan, P O’Connell capt ; P O’Mahony,  T O’Donnell , J Coughlan.

Replacements:  D Varley W du Preez, S Archer,  Donncha O’Callaghan, P Butler, C Sheridan, I Keatley,  I Dineen.

* will be liveblogging all the action at Twickenham from 6pm on Saturday

Heineken Cup: Zebo and Howlett may be ‘game day’ decisions for Munster

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