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Ulster team sees five changes for Challenge Cup trip to Leicester


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Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has made five changes to his starting team for the Heineken Challenge Cup semi-final versus Leicester Tigers.

The northern province face the English side at Welford Road Stadium tomorrow, off the back of their PRO14 Rainbow Cup defeat to Connacht last Friday.

Eric O’Sullivan and Marty Moore replace Andrew Warwick and Tom O'Toole in the front row, while Rob Herring is retained at hooker.

Iain Henderson will captain the side and is joined by Alan O’Connor who gets the nod in the engine room ahead of Kieran Treadwell.

Matty Rea retains his starting berth at blindside flanker with Jordi Murphy returning to the openside position, in place of Sean Reidy, and Nick Timoney completing the base of the pack at number eight.

10 April 2021; Jordi Murphy, right, and Rob Herring of Ulster embrace after their side's victory in the Heineken Challenge Cup Quarter-Final match between Northampton Saints and Ulster at Franklin's Gardens in Northampton, England. Photo by Matt Impey/Sportsfile

The starting back three remains unchanged; Jacob Stockdale is named at full-back, with Ethan McIlroy and Robert Baloucoune on the wings.

Stuart McCloskey comes back into midfield instead of Stewart Moore and pairs up with James Hume. John Cooney starts at scrum-half with Billy Burns at fly-half.

Providing the forward reinforcements from the bench are John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell and Sean Reidy. Alby Mathewson, Michael Lowry and Will Addison will offer back line cover.

Ulster team to play Leicester Tigers, Challenge Cup Semi-Final, Friday 30 April at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium (kick-off 8pm, live on BT Sport / beIN SPORTS):

(15-9) Jacob Stockdale, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.), Matty Rea, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Alby Mathewson, Michael Lowry, Will Addison.


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