Scarlets v Ulster: Louis Ludik returns to start for Ulster in Guinness PRO14 trip

Ulster's match-day 23 has been named for the Guinness PRO14 Round 9 clash against Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets on Friday (7.35pm).

Ulster's Louis Ludik
Ulster's Louis Ludik

Louis Ludik will make his first appearance of the season, having recovered from a hamstring injury sustained in May, as he is named at outside centre. James Hume, one of four Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy players in the starting XV, will partner Ludik in midfield.

The youthful duo of winger Robert Baloucoune and fullback Michael Lowry join Australian international Henry Speight in the back three, with David Shanahan and Billy Burns retained at half-back.

Kieran Treadwell is selected alongside captain Alan O’Connor in the second row, with the front row of Eric O’Sullivan, Adam McBurney and Marty Moore completing the front five. Marcell Coetzee, Sean Reidy and Nick Timoney combine in a powerful back row.

Recent signing Ian Nagle is set to make his debut from the bench, while Darren Cave could also make his return from injury if called upon. Jonny Stewart and Angus Kernohan are the other backline options along with Cave, while John Andrew, Andy Warwick, Tom O’Toole and Greg Jones make up the forward cover with Nagle.

Ulster team to play Scarlets, Guinness PRO14 Round 9, Friday 23rd November, Parc y Scarlets (7.35pm):

(15-9): M Lowry; R Baloucoune, L Ludik, J Hume, H Speight; B Burns, D Shanahan;

(1-8): E O’Sullivan, A McBurney, M Moore, A O’Connor (captain), K Treadwell, M Coetzee, S Reidy, N Timoney;

Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, A Warwick, T O’Toole, I Nagle, G Jones, J Stewart, D Cave, A Kernohan.