Paddy Wallace and Andrew Trimble are to start for Ulster in different roles from the norm when they meet Glasgow Warriors on Friday night in the top of the table RaboDirect PRO12 clash, writes Richard Mulligan.
There is as much speculation around Mark Anscombe’s selection later today as there was for Declan’s Kidney’s Irish announcement on Wednesday given the large list of absentees in the Ulster camp.
Ulster were missing 19 players on Tuesday due to either National call-ups or injuries.
It saw Niall O’Connor reinstated to the side which signalled the thought that he might get the start at outhalf.
However, Paddy Wallace, back in the provisional panel having picked up a knock against Ospreys two weeks ago, is expected to get the nod at fly-half with Ruan Pienaar starting at scrumhalf.
Wallace’s move to No 10 has opened up a start for Stuart Olding at 12 while Ireland winger, Andrew Trimble will start at outside centre in a new look midfield for the league leaders against second placed Glasgow.
Neil Walsh, the Dublin born winger who made his debut from the bench last week in the 26-3 bonus point win over Zebre at Ravenhill last week, is expected to get a first start for the Province.
Walsh, who previously played with Melbourne Rugby Club, has featured for the Ulster Ravens this season in the British & Irish Cup.
He has been training with Ulster and the management are keen to get a look at him at this level.
Michael Allen will return to the team on the opposite wing.
In an added boost last night, Ireland have released Darren Cave and he will take a place on the bench for Ulster.
Meanwhile, Ospreys players Joe Bearman and Ross Jones appeared at an independent RaboDirect PRO12 Disciplinary Committee both having been cited for an infringement of Law 10.4(j) (lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground) in the match between Connacht and Ospreys on 15 February 2013.
The committee found that both had committed the act of foul play, but also found that both merited a low entry point on the punishment scale.
Bearman was given a four week ban while Jones had a three week sanction imposed. Both have the right to appeal.