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Mike Ross' cousin Clive gets first start as Ulster make 10 changes

The northern province have opted for lots of new faces for their trip to Italy.

Craig Gilroy returns to the team at fullback.
Craig Gilroy returns to the team at fullback.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

ULSTER HAVE HANDED flanker Clive Ross his first competitive start in the Guinness Pro12 as one of 10 changes to their starting team ahead of tomorrow’s clash against Zebre at Stadio XXV Aprile [KO 15.00 Irish time].

The 25-year-old openside flanker joined the province on a trial basis during the summer months after impressing for Lansdowne in the Ulster Bank League over recent seasons, and has done enough to convince Les Kiss and Neil Doak to put him into first-team action.

Ross, a cousin of Ireland and Leinster prop Mike, wears the seven shirt against Zebre in a back row that also includes Nick Williams and Roger Wilson, who captains the team.

Craig Gilroy returns to the XV at fullback, with Tommy Bowe shifting to the right wing from the left, where Michael Allen comes into the team.

Darren Cave continues in midfield and is joined by Stuart McCloskey, the province’s Academy Player of the Season in 2013/14 and a man who impressed when he started against Munster back in May.

Clive Ross 1/12/2012 Ross [pictured in action for Lansdowne in 2012] is now with Ballymena and Ulster. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Paddy Jackson takes his spot at out-half, with Michael Heaney handed a start inside him at scrum-half.

Callum Black, Ireland international Rob Herring and Declan Fitzpatrick make up an all-new front row, while Franco van der Merwe and Neil McComb will look to provide work rate as the locking partnership.

Rory Best is among the replacements, as are Ruaidhri Murphy, Ian Humphreys and Andrew Trimble.

Ulster: Craig Gilroy; Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Stuart McCIoskey, Michael Allen; Paddy Jackson, Michael Heaney; Callum Black, Rob Herring, Declan Fitzpatrick; Neil McComb, Franco van der Merwe; Roger Wilson (capt.), Clive Ross, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Rory Best, Ruaidhri Murphy, Wiehahn Herbst, Lewis Stevenson, Mike McComish, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys, Andrew Trimble.

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