Ulster have announced their team to take on Racing 92 in tomorrow’s crunch Champions Cup Round 5 tie at the Kingspan Stadium.
The big news coming out of Belfast is that 21-year-old Academy product Robert Baloucoune will make his European debut for the provincial side who welcome back a plethora of regulars following their disappointing defeat to Leinster last week.
The winger will be joined in the back three by Louis Ludik and Irish international, Jacob Stockdale. The Irish international is currently top of the Champions Cup try charts having scored in every round, and he will be hoping to continue in that rich vein of form in what will be his 50th appearance for Ulster.
Will Addison joins Stuart McCloskey in midfield, whilst John Cooney and Bill Burns are named at scrum-half & out-half.
In the forwards, Ireland skipper Rory Best returns to captain the side and will be joined in the front-row by Marty Moore as he looks to continue adding to Ulster’s scrum. Academy prop, Eric O’Sullivan will make up the front three.
Alan O’Connor and Kieran Treadwell will be the second-rowers tasked with disrupting Racing’s Leone Nakarawa, whilst Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy and Marcell Coetzee make up the back-row.
Racing travel to Belfast without the services of former Ireland international Donnacha Ryan and French flyer Teddy Thomas who are both nursing injuries.
Simon Zebo starts on the wing for Racing as he returns to Ireland for the first time since departing Munster. The former international has been in blistering form since making the move to France scoring nine tries in 16 appearances.
Ulster team to play Racing 92, Heineken Champions Cup, Saturday 12th January, Kingspan Stadium (3.15pm):
(15-9): L Ludik; R Baloucoune, W Addison, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; B Burns, J Cooney;
(1-8): E O’Sullivan, R Best (captain), M Moore, A O’Connor, K Treadwell, S Reidy, J Murphy, M Coetzee;
Replacements (16-23): R Herring, A Warwick, R Kane, I Nagle, N Timoney, D Shanahan, M Lowry, D Cave.