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Jacko's back as Ulster make three changes for Champions Cup opener in Leicester

Andrew Trimble has not recovered from his toe injury.

Image: ©Russell Pritchard/Presseye

ULSTER HEAD COACH Neil Doak has made three changes for Ulster’s Champions Cup pool 3 opener away to Leicester Tigers (kick-off 19.45).

Two of the switches are enforced with Craig Gilroy starting as expected in the absence of the injured Andrew Trimble.

Lock Alan O’Connor was cited in midweek for an incident that left Glasgow’s Mark Bennett unconscious, his place filled by Lewis Stevenson. Kiwi second row Ronald Raaymakers flew in to Belfast yesterday, too late for the Kiwi to join his new teammates for the trip to England.

Despite a fine display of goal-kicking last time out, Ian Humphreys drops out of the matchday squad altogether to make room for Paddy Jackson’s return after passing the return to play protocols after a head injury kept him out of the win over Warriors.

Centre Stuart McCloskey is given a chance to bring his excellent Pro12 form on to the big stage, but he and midfield partner Jared Payne will have Stuart Olding and Darren Cave putting the pressure on from the bench.

The Tigers meanwhile, have made just one change to the side which defeated Harlequins last time out at Welford Road with Marcos Ayerza filling out the number one jersey.

Manu Tuilagi continues his comeback and lock Brad Thorn renews acquaintances with Ulster having been part of the Leinster side that beat the northern province in the 2012 Heineken Cup final.

Ulster:

15. Louis Ludik

14. Tommy Bowe

13. Jared Payne

12. Stuart McCloskey

11. Craig Gilroy

10. Paddy Jackson

9. Paul Marshall.

1. Andrew Warwick

2. Rory Best (capt)

3. Wiehahn Herbst

4. Lewis Stevenson

5. Franco van der Merwe

6. Robbie Diack

7. Chris Henry

8. Nick Williams.

Replacements:

16. Rob Herring

17. Callum Black

18. Deccy Fitzpatrick

19. Clive Ross

20. Roger Wilson

21. Michael Heaney

22. Stuart Olding

23. Darren Cave

Leicester Tigers:

15. Matthew Tait.

14. Blaine Scully.

13. Manu Tuilagi.

12. Owen Williams.

11. Vereniki Goneva.

10. Freddie Burns.

9. Ben Youngs (capt):

1. Marcos Ayerza

2. Leonardo Ghiraldini

3. Fraser Balmain

4. Brad Thorn

5. Graham Kitchener

6. Jamie Gibson

7. Julian Salvi

8. Jordan Crane

Replacements:

16. Harry Thacker

17. Michele Rizzo

18. Tiziano Pasquali

19. Sebastian De Chaves

20. Robert Barbieri

21. David Mele

22. Sam Harrison

23. Miles Benjamin

Live coverage: BT Sport.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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