INPHO/Billy Stickland Pienaar: signed three-year contract extension earlier this week.
Ulster leave Pienaar on the bench for Heineken Cup opener
Connacht coach Pat Lam also names his side for tomorrow’s clash with Saracens.

Updated 13.45

RUAN PIENAAR HAS been left out of the Ulster team to face Leicester Tigers tomorrow night.

Paul Marshall and Paddy Jackson are the half-backs for the Heineken Cup opener in Ravenhill with Pienaar forced to make do with a place on the bench just days after signing a three-year contract extension.

Craig Gilroy misses out with an ankle injury and so coach Mark Anscombe reshuffles his backs, moving Jared Payne to 15 and bringing Darren Cave in at outside centre.

Tommy Bowe has recovered from the dead leg he suffered against Treviso a fortnight ago and starts on the left wing opposite Andrew Trimble.

Up front, the pack shows only one change from last week’s win against the Ospreys with Roger Wilson named on the blindside and Robbie Diack dropping to the bench.

Kick-off at Ravenhill is at 8pm tomorrow night. The game is also live on Sky Sports 1 with coverage starting at 7pm.

Ulster (v Leicester Tigers): J Payne; A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, T Bowe; P Jackson, P Marshall; T Court, R Best, D Fitzpatrick; J Muller (c), D Tuohy; R Wilson, C Henry, N Williams.

Replacements: R Herring, C Black, R Lutton, I Henderson, R Diack, R Pienaar, S Olding, M Allen.

Meanwhile James So’oialo will make his Connacht debut in their pool 3 clash with Saracens tomorrow evening.

Pat Lam has a number of changes to the side which started against Treviso last week.

Michael Swift returns as captain in the second row while prop Rodney Ah You, who starts in the front row alongside Brett Wilkinson and Sean Henry, is set to make his 50th appearance for the province.

Kick-off in the Sportsground is at 8pm.

Connacht (v Saracens): G Duffy; F Carr, R Henshaw, J So’oialo, D Poolman; D Parks, K Marmion; B Wilkinson, S Henry, R Ah You; M Swift (c), C Clarke; J Muldoon, J Heenan, G Naoupu.

Replacements: J Harris-Wright, P Reilly, JP Cooney, A Muldowney, A Browne, P O’Donohoe, C Ronaldson, T O’Halloran.

– Originally published 12.19

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