Captain Lewis Stevenson is urging the Ulster Ravens to finish their disappointing British and Irish Cup campaign with a flourish as they face the Cornish Pirates at Deramore Sports Complex, Belfast Harlequins RFC on Friday night (7.30pm).
Defeat in Jersey last weekend ended any chance the Ravens had of making the last eight while the Cornish Pirates arrive in Belfast with Pool Six already won and a home quarter final guaranteed with five wins out of five and four bonus points.
“We now have to get our pride back and that is a big factor” said Stevenson.
“We’ve just got to show we’re better players than the performances we’ve been putting in for the Ravens.
“We’ve got guys with a lot of Rabo experience who just aren’t ticking when it comes to playing for the Ravens.
“Against Jersey the wheels really fell off for us and simple mistakes hurt us so much, we had the lead and we let it go which was really disappointing.”
“Those of us who have aspirations for the first team and expect to be given chances in that team have to show up now with the Six Nations taking frontline guys away.”
With David McIlwaine travelling to Welford Road the back line is rejigged, Peter Nelson moves to full back with Queen’s winger David Busby promoted from the bench.
Rory Scholes returns to action after a lengthy lay off due to a hip injury.
Ricky Andrew and Stuart McCloskey remain in midfield and the half back partnership is unchanged with Michael Heaney and James McKinney.
There are two changes in the pack with Adam Macklin coming in at tight head prop for Ricky Lutton and Lorcan Dow starts at openside.