Dan McFarland has rung the changes for Ulster’s PRO14 inter-provincial derby against Leinster on Friday evening in the RDS Arena.
On the back of a successful run in Europe which saw the Irish provinces record back-to-back wins over Harlequins, McFarland has rested his star players for the trip to Dublin.
Alan O’Connor will captain the side on the occasion of his 100th cap and is named in the second row alongside his brother David who will be making his first start for Ulster.
Andrew Warwick, Adam McBurney and Tom O’Toole make up the starting front row while Matthew Rea and Nick Timoney have been selected to start on the flanks, with Greg Jones completing the base of the scrum.
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) December 19, 2019
In the back three, Rob Lyttle makes his return, this time to the full-back position. He will be joined by Craig Gilroy and Angus Kernohan on the right and left wings. Matt Faddes makes a positional switch to outside centre and will pair up with Angus Curtis in midfield.
Bill Johnston will make his fourth start of the season at fly-half, and David Shanahan gets the starting berth at scrum-half.
Three Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy prospects – Jack Regan, Azur Allison and Stewart Moore – are set to earn their first senior cap if called upon from the bench, as is sub-Academy back three talent, Ethan McIlroy. John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Ross Kane and Jonny Stewart are the additional replacements included in the match-day squad.
Kick-off in the RDS Arena on Friday evening is 7.35pm and the game will be broadcast live on eir Sports.
Leinster have also named their team and that can be read here.
Ulster: Rob Lyttle, Craig Gilroy, Matt Faddes, Angus Curtis, Angus Kernohan, Bill Johnston, David Shanahan; Andrew Warwick, Adam McBurney, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, Alan O’Connor (Capt.), Matthew Rea, Nick Timoney, Greg Jones.
Replacements: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Ross Kane, Jack Regan, Azur Allison, Jonny Stewart, Stewart Moore, Ethan McIlroy.