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Returning Trimble fired up to replace sidelined Piutau

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 15/10/2016

No go: How we revealed the absence of Charles Piutau yesterday
No go: How we revealed the absence of Charles Piutau yesterday

With star signing Charles Piutau missing Ulster's Champions Cup opener with Bordeaux-Begles tomorrow, co-captain Andrew Trimble is ready to fill the void and make his first outing of the season.

As reported in yesterday's Belfast Telegraph, Piutau's European bow for his new side will be delayed by at least a week due to concussion but Trimble has recovered from a lingering toe problem and Director of Rugby Les Kiss has parachuted him straight back into the starting line-up.

Trimble said: "The European Cup is something that everybody looks forward to and it's something I've a lot of experience of playing in.

"It's always a special occasion no matter where you are but in the south of France we're obviously straight in at the deep end, and it's a big ask, but we're all excited by it.

"We want to put right a lot of the wrongs that happened last week against Connacht."

Trimble's return is just one of eight changes to the side that suffered a first defeat of the season in the PRO12 clash in Galway as Ruan Pienaar starts after being rested, with Stuart Olding and Luke Marshall also making their return in the midfield.

Up front, Franco van der Merwe returns after an ankle injury and the birth of his first child saw him miss out last week while Alan O'Connor is over an illness to join him in the engine room.

Andy Warwick gets the start at loosehead with Kyle McCall on the bench, while Kiss has also juggled his back-rowers.

Iain Henderson has retained his place but, with Sean Reidy back, it is Roger Wilson rather than Clive Ross who drops out of the starting line-up.

Belfast Telegraph

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