Who qualifies as Pool 4 winners is still all to play for as leaders Ulster host bottom-placed Glasgow at Ravenhill, kick off Friday, 8pm.
Injuries have forced Head Coach Mark Anscombe to make five changes to his team as Adam D’Arcy’s broken ankle rules him out along with Luke Marshall. Both backs join long-term absentees captain Johann Muller, Tommy Bowe and Stephen Ferris on the sidelines.
Last year’s losing Heineken Cup finalists have only lost twice this season in all competitions thanks in no small part to the power of the pack which has been phenomenal in all corners of the pitch. However, their forward injury crisis is slightly unnerving if you are an Ulster fan.
Furthermore, the loss of first-choice lock Dan Tuohy, who will miss the remainder of the Pool stages with a calf injury, is a massive blow to Ulster ahead of a crucial stage of the season. Anscombe has reshuffled his pack with flanker Iain Henderson joining Lewis Stevenson in the unfamiliar second-row position and Robbie Diack moves to blindside.
South African Jared Payne starts at full-back in place of D’Arcy while Paddy Wallace replaces Marshall in the centre. Prop John Afoa starts at tight-head alongside Rory Best and Tom Court.
Glasgow may be winless and bottom of Pool 4 but they are in second place in the Rabo league and come into this game in buoyant mood after thumping Treviso 41-7 last week. Gregor Townsend’s side has nothing but pride to play for and Ulster must be wary of this treat.
Townsend has made six changes to his team that won last week from a squad of only twenty-two players due to a number of props being unavailable through injury.
Duncan Weir starts at out-half with Peter Hourne returning at inside centre as Sean Maitland returns in place of Tommy Seymour with DTH van der Merwe on the opposite wing.
Tom Ryder starts at lock while James Eddie comes in for the injured Ryan Wilson in the backrow.
The main objective for Ulster is securing home advantage for the quarter-final, thus, a victory here is paramount to their cause. Their only loss at home this season was the against Northampton Saints in the last round of the Heineken Cup but no repeat is likely at Ravenhill tomorrow night.
(15-9): J Payne; A Trimble, D Cave, P Wallace, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar;
(1-8): T Court, R Best, J Afoa, L Stevenson, I Henderson, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams;
Replacements (16-23): R Herring, C Black, D Fitzpatrick, N McComb, R Wilson, P Marshall, M Allen, C Cochrane.
(15-9)Peter Murchie; Sean Maitland, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, DTH Van Der Merwe; Duncan Weir, Henry Pyrgos;
(1-8)Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Tom Ryder, Alastair Kellock (c), James Eddie, Rob Harley, Josh Strauss.
Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Gordon Reid, Nick Campbell, Tim Swinson, Nikola Matawalu, Scott Wight, Stuart Hogg.