Heineken Cup: Ulster Team v Biarritz & B&I Cup: Ulster Ravens Team v Swansea

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Ulster Coach Brian McLaughlin has named his starting XV and replacements to face Biarritz in the Round 2 Heineken Cup pool game this Sunday at the Parc des Sports Aguilera (ko 4pm local time).

The starting XV shows four changes of personnel and one positional switch from that which defeated Aironi 30-6 in the opening round last weekend at Ravenhill.

Injuries to Jamie Smith (shoulder girdle/rib) and Darren Cave (hamstring) rule them out of contention and they are replaced by David McIlwaine at full-back and Ian Whitten at centre.

Up front BJ Botha’s return to fitness means that he takes up the tighthead berth with Tom Court switching to the loose, while in the back row, Stephen Ferris’ return to fitness see him named at openside flanker with Chris Henry dropping to the bench.

Elsewhere amongst the replacements, Andi Kyriacou provides cover at hooker in place of Nigel Brady, Bryan Young drops from the starting XV last week to cover prop in place of rookie Alan Whitten, Willie Faloon makes way for Chris Henry while Nevin Spence and Irish-qualified Aussie Adam D’Arcy provide the back-line cover following McIlwaine and Whiiten’s promotion to the starting XV.

Sunday’s match will be shown live on Sky Sports via the Red Button

ULSTER: (15-9) David McIlwaine; Andrew Trimble, Ian Whitten, Paddy Wallace, Simon Danielli; Ian Humphreys, Ruan Pienaar (1-8) Tom Court, Rory Best, BJ Botha, Johann Muller, Tim Barker, Pedrie Wannenburg, Stephen Ferris, Robbie Diack

Replacements (16-23) Andi Kyriacou, Paddy McAllister, Bryan Young, Dan Tuohy, Chris Henry, Paul Marshall, Nevin Spence, Adam D’Arcy

The Ulster Ravens will be in action this Saturday in the first of their British & Irish Cup matches away to Swansea RFC at St Helens, ko 2.30pm.

The first round of B&I Cup competition was not meant to kick off until the weekend of the 11th December, however, in order to avoid a clash with the Six Nations it was agreed that some of the matches in Round 5, when Ulster are due to play away to Swansea, would be moved to this weekend.

As per last season, there will again be five rounds of competition but an additional quarter final stage has been added with the top two from each pool progressing to the last eight.

Ulster Ravens: (15-9) Conor Gaston; Mark McCrea, Jonny Shiels, Luke Marshall, Tommy Seymour; Patrick Jackson, Ian Porter (1-8) Conor Carey, Nigel Brady (Captain), Alan Whitten, Neil McComb, Ryan Caldwell, Thomas Anderson, Willie Faloon, Scott LaValla

Replacements (16-22) Niall Annett, Kyle McCall, Gerry Cronin, Paul Pritchard, Blane McIlroy, Michael Allen, Chris Cochrane

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