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Jackson in step up to lead role for Ulster

By Michael Sadlier

Paddy Jackson will lead Ulster for the first time tomorrow when they meet Scarlets at Kingspan (2.30pm) after Les Kiss unexpectedly handed him the captaincy as injury ruled out regular stand-in skipper Rob Herring.

The 24-year-old out-half, controversially omitted from Ireland's Six Nations match day squads, gets his first start since last month's tanking of Oyonnax in Ulster's final European game and has been given the nod to captain the side ahead of Chris Henry and Darren Cave who have more experience in the role.

Henry has vowed to give his all in Ulster's drive to secure a PRO12 play-off place and will not be distracted by the possibility of yet featuring in Ireland's wobbling Six Nations campaign after Sean O'Brien was yesterday ruled out of rest of the championship due to his hamstring injury.

Now fully recovered from a shoulder injury he picked up in December, Henry starts tomorrow as Ulster aim to rack up a fourth consecutive league win in their third straight home game.

After last week's 20 minute cameo off the bench, in the narrow win over Glasgow, his first involvement for a month, the 31-year-old is ready to step it up again for Ulster.

"I need to get playing and contributing in a white jersey. We've targeted this run of games to get as many points as possible to put us in a healthy place," he said.

Ulster have made seven changes to the side which saw off Glasgow for this rare Sunday game in Belfast in a clash which will see Roger Wilson become only the second Ulster player to make 200 appearances for the province, hot on the heels of Andrew Trimble hitting the milestone.

Belfast Telegraph

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