RUGBY: Chris Henry to make first appearance of season for Ulster after injury

Chris Henry
 returns to the Ulster side after injury
Chris Henry returns to the Ulster side after injury

Chris Henry will make his first appearance of the season for Ulster on Friday night after being named in Les Kiss’ starting XV for the game against Zebre (Kingspan Stadium, 7.35pm).

The Guinness PRO12 Round 9 tie will also see Louis Ludik return from injury to don the 13 jersey, while Ireland backs Luke Marshall and Craig Gilroy will rejoin the squad from international duty.

Marshall and Ludik are paired together in midfield by Kiss, with Brett Herron and Ruan Pienaar continuing in the half back positions. Jacob Stockdale, who made an impressive try-scoring impact against Edinburgh three weeks ago, is included in an exciting back three combination that will feature the experienced Tommy Bowe and Charles Piutau.

Henry, who will earn his 151st Ulster cap, is named in a combative back row alongside Clive Ross and Sean Reidy, with the latter packing down at number 8.

Pete Browne and Franco van der Merwe will reignite their lock partnership, while skipper Rob Herring will be joined by Kyle McCall and Wiehahn Herbst in the front row.

Gilroy, Rob Lyttle and Paul Marshall will offer no shortage of pace if called upon from the replacements bench. The front row cover will be provided by John Andrew, Callum Black and Andy Warwick, with Dan Tuohy and Robbie Diack, who boast 318 Ulster caps between them, also included in the match day squad.

Almost 15,500 tickets have been sold already, but there is still limited availability at www.ulsterrugby.com/buytickets.

Ulster team: C Piutau, T Bowe, L Ludik, L Marshall, J Stockdale, B Herron, R Pienaar; K McCall, R Herring (capt), W Herbst, P Browne, F van der Merwe, C Ross, C Henry, S Reidy;

Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, C Black, A Warwick, D Tuohy, R Diack, P Marshall, C Gilroy, R Lyttle.