Ulster name 11 internationals for Irish derby PRO12 semi-final

Ulster's Rory Best during captain's run on Friday
Ulster's Rory Best during captain's run on Friday

Rory Best and Ruan Pienaar have recovered from injury and have been selected in the Ulster starting XV for Saturday evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 play-off against Leinster at the RDS (kick off 7pm).

They are two of 11 internationals in the team and two of 13 changes to the side that beat Munster at Thomond Park last weekend.

Craig Gilroy keeps his place at fullback and is joined in the back three by Tommy Bowe on the right wing and IRUPA Players’ Player of the year, Andrew Trimble, on the left.

Jared Payne is selected at outside-centre, with Darren Cave starting the match at 12. Paddy Jackson is named at outhalf alongside the returning Pienaar.

Up front, Callum Black is retained at loosehead, with Best starting the game at hooker and Ricky Lutton who missed last month’s game against Leinster with a toe injury, back at tighthead.

Ulster Captain, Johann Muller, starts in the second row and is partnered by Iain Henderson who will wear 5.

Robbie Diack has recovered from the ankle injury that he sustained against Connacht and joins Chris Henry and Roger Wilson in the back row.

Forwards Rob Herring, Andrew Warwick, Adam Macklin, Dan Tuohy and Sean Doyle are named on the bench, alongside backs, Paul Marshall, James McKinney and Luke Marshall.

The match is live on BBC2 Northern Ireland, RTE 2 and S4C.


C Gilroy, T Bowe, J Payne, D Cave, A Trimble, P Jackson, R Pienaar; (1-8); C Black, R Best, R Lutton, J Muller (Captain), I Henderson, R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson.

Replacements (16-23): R Herring, A Warwick, A Macklin, D Tuohy, S Doyle, P Marshall, J McKin ney, L Marshall.