RUGBY: Les Kiss recalls wealth of talent to Ulster team
Ulster may have made 12 changes to their starting line-up for Saturday's game in Parma against Zebre, but Les Kiss has been able to recall several frontline players.
Internationals Charles Piutau, Darren Cave and Rodney Ah You are the only players retained from last week’s thumping of Dragons in Belfast.
But Ulster are boosted by the return of seven other internationals in the starting line-up.
British Lion Iain Henderson will make his first start of the Guinness PRO14 season having come off the bench last week. He is joined in the second row by the reliable Pete Browne.
Wings Andrew Trimble (pictured) and Louis Ludik replace Tommy Bowe and Jacob Stockdale.
With Chris Henry rested, Trimble will captain Ulster as he equals Roger Wilson’s record of 221 appearances for the Irish province.
Luke Marshall will partner Cave in the midfield.
Jean Deysel, who missed the home wins over Scarlets and Dragons due to an eye injury is another welcome return to the side.
He is a boost as well as the return of half-back partners John Cooney and Christian Leali’ifano.
With the first two rounds of the European Champions Cup coming up in mid-October, the return of these key players is a massive plus for Ulster.
And with the potential of Marcell Coetzee and Jared Payne set to come back from injury, Ulster are looking in good shape for the visit of Wasps before a difficult away game against La Rochelle in France.
TODAY’S PRO14 LINE-UPS:
Zebre: M Minozzi; G Bisegni, T Boni, T Castello (capt), M Bellini; C Canna, M Violi; A Lovotti, O Fabiani, D Chistolini; D Sisi, G Biagi; G Licata, J Meyer, R Giammarioli.
Replacements: L Luus, S Panico, E Bello, L Krumow, J Sarto, G Palazzani, S Bordoli, G Venditti.
Ulster: C Piutau; A Trimble (capt), D Cave, L Marshall, L Ludik; C Lealiffano, J Cooney; C Black, J Andrew, R Ah You; P Browne, I Henderson; M Rea, S Reidy, J Deysel.
Replacements: A McBurney, A Warwick, W Herbst, K Treadwell, N Timoney, D Shanahan, P Nelson, R Lyttle.