Ulster have mixed youth with experience for their game in the PRO 14 this weekend with Welsh side Dragons.
Dan McFarland has named Ulster academy player Robert Baloucoune in the side in what will be his debut, while he has also included two more academy players in the starting 15 with full back Michael Lowry and Eric O’Sullivan at loosehead prop selected. Henry Speight is named alongside Baloucoune having recovered from a knee injury which he picked up against the Cheetahs in September, he joins the afore mentioned Lowry and Baloucoune in the back three. Stuart McCloskey is set to partner Will Addison in midfield, Addison was named in the Ireland squad earlier this week. Johnny McPhilips and Dave Shanahan pair up in the half back positions.
In the forwards, O’Sullivan will be joined by captain Rory Best, while Marty Moore is also named to start. Kieran Treadwell and Iain Henderson combine in the second row. Jordi Murphy, Sean Reidy and Marcell Coetzee are also named to start in the engine room. In the substitutes Rob Herring who sustained a toe injury against the Cheetahs is named, he is likely to come on for Rory Best at some stage in the game, Andrew Warwick, Alan O’Connor and Greg Jones are also named on the bench are the other forward replacements. The back replacements look very strong with Jonny Stewart, Craig Gilroy and academy star Angus Kernohan also all named.
Ulster team: M Lowry; R Baloucoune, W Addison, S McCloskey, H Speight; J McPhillips, D Shanahan; E O’Sullivan, R Best (captain), M Moore, I Henderson, K Treadwell, S Reidy, J Murphy, M Coetzee;
Replacements R Herring, A Warwick, T O’Toole, A O’Connor, G Jones, J Stewart, A Kernohan, C Gilroy.