Ulster makes two changes for Leicester challenge

Ulster's Callum Black and Darren Cave
Ulster's Callum Black and Darren Cave

Ulster hooker, Rory Best, will make his 150th appearance for the Province in tomorrow’s Heineken Cup Pool 5 match against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road (kick-off 18:00).

Best is named at hooker alongside former All Black tighthead, John Afoa, and loosehead prop, Callum Black, who makes his first ever start in the Heineken Cup.

The inclusion of Black is one of two changes to the team that defeated Montpellier at Ravenhill last weekend.

The other sees Roger Wilson selected at blindside with Robbie Diack moving to the bench. Nick Williams starts at Number 8, with Chris Henry picked at openside.

Johann Muller captains the side and is joined by Dan Tuohy in the second row.

Craig Gilroy has recovered from the injury that he sustained against Montpellier and starts on the left wing with Andrew Trimble named on the right and Jared Payne continuing at fullback.

Luke Marshall and Darren Cave maintain their partnership in midfield. Paddy Jackson and Ruan Pienaar are selected as the halfbacks.

Prop Declan Fitzpatrick was unavailable for selection having sustained concussion in last weekend’s game. Ricky Lutton is named on the bench, as are Tom Court, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Robbie Diack, Paul Marshall, David McIlwaine and Michael Allen.

Ulster are the only team to have won all five Pool matches in the competition this season and are the only side to have qualified for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals in the last four seasons.

However, a Leicester win, though, would see them finish top - unless their opponents collect two bonus points - and send Ulster on their travels in the last-eight.

“They are the English champions, they have a great track record in both their own league and the Heineken Cup, so it’s going to be a tough task,” Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe said.

“The fact is, if you are going to win the Heineken Cup - or even be a contender - you have to win big games in daunting grounds like Welford Road. You cannot win the competition just playing at home.

“We need to make sure that we get the details right, but we need to be excited by the challenge of what is in front of us.

“The media will blow it up and it’s a big game. We need to realise that the challenge in front of us is daunting, but it’s a challenge that we are more than capable of handling.”

Ulster Rugby: Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Callum Black, Rory Best, John Afoa, Johann Muller (c), Dan Tuohy, Roger Wilson, Chris Henry, Nick Williams

Replacements: Rob Herring, Tom Court, Ricky Lutton, Iain Henderson, Robbie Diack, Paul Marshall, David McIlwaine, Michael Allen.

The game is live on Sky Sports 2 HD, Sky Sports 2 and BBC Radio Ulster.