Four more Ulster players have committed their futures to the province.
Marcus Rea, Greg Jones, Jack McGrath and Craig Gilroy have all signed contract extensions to remain at Kingspan Stadium until the summer of 2023.
24-year old Rea made an immediate impact with the province on his senior debut against Leinster in 2019. Eleven more appearances have followed for the back-row forward.
Dubliner Jones broke into the Ulster senior team in 2017, and has been a handy stand-in for Duane Vermeulen this term, scoring a try in the win over Leinster at the RDS.
The most experienced of the quartet - Gilroy - is just eight tries short of Andrew Trimble's try-scoring record of 76. He'll also start Friday night's United Rugby Championship meeting with Scarlets in Belfast.
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McGrath recently made his return after 13-months out with a hip injury. The prop is the only current Ulster player to have played Test rugby for the British & Irish Lions.
The 32-year old is among the replacements for Friday's game. Rea, Jones and Gilroy all start.
“It is encouraging to have secured the services of a further four of our current playing squad, with all set to play an important role in our plans for next season," said McFarland.
“Jack and Craig bring extensive experience and expertise, while Marcus and Greg have really grown into their roles within the club. I look forward to what they can achieve individually and collectively in the time ahead.”
Rob Lyttle will make a 50th appearance for the province, in a team shorn of Dan McFarland's international contingent. John Cooney and Stuart McCloskey miss out with respective niggles.
Ulster team v Scarlets:
(15-9) Ethan McIlroy; Craig Gilroy, Ben Moxham, Angus Curtis, Rob Lyttle; Billy Burns, Nathan Doak.
(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, John Andrew, Marty Moore; Alan O’Connor (Capt.), Sam Carter; Greg Jones, Marcus Rea, Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Brad Roberts, Jack McGrath, Gareth Milasinovich, Mick Kearney, David McCann, David Shanahan, Ian Madigan, Aaron Sexton.
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