Ulster team announced for play-off: Rory Best ruled out through injury

Robbie Diack will play in his final game for Ulster against Ospreys on Sunday
Robbie Diack will play in his final game for Ulster against Ospreys on Sunday

Ulster will be without talismanic captain, Rory Best, for Sunday's crunch European Champions Cup play-off game against Ospreys at Kingspan Stadium (3.05pm)

The Irish skipper and hooker suffered a hamstring injury earlier this week and although it is understood to be a grade one tear, he was unable to recover in time to face the Welsh visirtors.

Robbie Diack, Callum Black and Charles Piutau will play their final games in Ulster colours after being named in the starting team for Sunday’s match, Ulster and Ospreys going head to head for the seventh and final European Champions Cup place available to Guinness PRO14 clubs next season.

Tickets for the game, which is part of the Guinness PRO14 Final Series, are available from just £12 for children and £17 for adults via ulsterrugby.com/buytickets.

The coaching team have been boosted by the return of John Cooney and Piutau, who missed the Guinness PRO14 trip to Munster earlier this month due to concussion and personal reasons respectively.

Iain Henderson and Clive Ross (both knee) have been ruled out through injury and join Best in the medical room, Rob Herring, Kieran Treadwell and Diack come into the side.

There are five personnel changes to the starting XV that drew 24-24 at Thomond Park on the final day of the regular league season.

Abbey Insurance Academy lock Jack Regan could make his senior debut after being named among the replacements.

Fellow Academy player Tom O’Toole, hooker John Andrew, prop Andy Warwick and back row Chris Henry are also included on the bench.

ULSTER: C Piutau; L Ludik, L Marshall, S McCloskey, J Stockdale, J McPhillips, J Cooney; C Black, R Herring (captain), R Kane, A O'Connor, K Treadwell, R Diack, S Reidy, N Timoney;

Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, T O'Toole, J Regan, C Henry, D Shanahan, D Cave, C Gilroy.