Ulster take on Connacht at Ravenhill on Friday evening in a crucial tie which will help determine which teams will qualify for a playoff place come the end of the season. With Munster already guaranteed a home semi-final place, only 3 points currently separate Leinster, Ulster and Ospreys, while Cardiff are a further two points behind, with a game in hand.
The defeat to Leinster means Ulster must now win their two remaining games in order to guarantee a semi-final spot. It is certainly all to play for this weekend in the Magners league as we reach the latter stages of the competition.
Ulster’s Irish internationals Paddy Wallace and Andrew Trimble are not available for the match against their interprovincial rivals after they each fractured a thumb in the defeat to Leinster at the RDS last Saturday.
Johann Muller returns to the second row after missing the contest in Dublin with a dead leg. A boost for the Ulster men will also see one of the most dangerous wingers in the Magners league, Simon Danielli, make his return from injury.
Connacht are presently ninth place, six places below their opponents, in the league table. 3 Connacht Centurions make their return to the starting line up. Brett Wilkinson in the front row, Michael Swift in the 2nd row and John Muldoon at no 8 help put together a seasoned pack who will be looking to thwart Ulster’s progress.
Ulster and Connacht played out a 15-15 draw in an earlier meeting at the Sportsground in September. With home advantage this time around, Ulster will be looking to achieve the win they need.
A D’Arcy, C Gilroy, D Cave, N Spence, S Danielli, I Humphreys, R Pienaar, P McAllister, R Best, J Cronin, J Muller, D Tuohy, C Henry, W Faloon, P Wannenburg,
Gavin Duffy, Eoin Griffin, Niva Ta’auso, Troy Nathan, Fionn Carr, Ian Keatley, Frank Murphy, Brett Wilkinson, Sean Cronin, Jamie Hagan, Michael Swift, Bernie Upton, Mike McCarthy, Johnny O’Connor, John Muldoon