Ulster Rugby I XV & replacements for Thomond Park clash!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NAMED HERE!!!!!!!

2 minutes, 48 seconds Read

Brian McLaughlin has named Stephen Ferris in his starting XV for the massive Heineken Cup quarter final clash with Munster on Easter Sunday (kick off 1.45pm).

The inclusion of Ferris, who missed last year’s quarter final defeat to Northampton, will come as a major boost to McLaughlin. The Ireland flanker picked up an ankle injury against Aironi in last week’s PRO12 clash, but has received extensive treatment throughout the week to be passed fit.

Ulster have made just one change to the starting team that registered a 45-7 victory over the Italians at Ravenhill last Friday. Dan Tuohy returns to partner Johann Muller in the second row, with Lewis Stevenson making way. Ireland Internationals Tom Court and Rory Best for the front row with All Black John Afoa, while Chris Henry and Pedrie Wannenburg join Ferris in the back row once more.

The backline has a settled look about it with Ruan Pienaar and Ian Humphreys continuing at half back. Paddy Wallace and Darren Cave have been looking dangerous in midfield and will thrive on the opportunity of quick ball on Sunday. Craig Gilroy adds youth to an experienced back three that also includes Stefan Terblanche and Andew Trimble.

The only other change to the match day squad sees centre Nevin Spence included among the replacements at the expense of Ian Whitten.

Commenting on the inclusion of Ferris, McLaughlin said: “Stevie will play subject to fitness. At this stage we are hopeful that he will be available and a lot of credit should go to our medical team and physios for getting him into this position. He brings a great deal to this team and gives the players around him a massive lift. That is what we need going into a game like this.”

The Ulster coach is expecting fireworks from the very first whistle. He said, “It will be an unbelievably physical battle. They will be smarting from their defeat to Leinster at the weekend and they will want to make up for that by beating us on Sunday.”

McLaughlin has an almost full strength squad to pick from and he admitted that selection was difficult: “We are as close to full strength as possible so it wasn’t an easy job picking the squad. We only have 23 slots and there are a few disappointed boys. Everyone has been working hard over the past few months and some are unlucky to miss out.”

Munster have progressed to the last eight having won six games from six in their pool. The two-time Heineken Cup winners have lost just twice at Thomond Park in the history of the competition, to Cardiff back in 1998 and Leicester Tigers in 2007.

Ulster will be hoping to go a step further after falling at this stage last year. The winner on Sunday will earn a home semi final against either Edinburgh or Toulouse, who face each other on Saturday.

Ulster Match Day Squad to face Munster, Sunday 8th April 2012, Thomond Park (kick-off 1.45pm)
(15-9): S Terblanche; A Trimble, D Cave, P Wallace, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, R Pienaar;
(1-8): T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (capt), D Tuohy, S Ferris, C Henry, P Wannenburg;
Replacements (16-23): N Brady, P McAllister, A Macklin, L Stevenson, W Faloon, P Marshall, N Spence, A D’Arcy

Unavailable due to injury:
Jared Payne (achilles tendon), Simon

Similar Posts