Stuart Olding's big comeback is a major boost: Kiss
Ulster's Stuart Olding will make his first appearance for the province in 10 months this evening when Les Kiss' side take on the PRO12's bottom team Benetton Treviso (5pm kick-off).
While Ulster travel to Italy without five of their Irish internationals who are preparing for the Six Nations, Kiss feels the return of Olding from the second serious knee injury of his career can be a major boost ahead of a crucial run of fixtures.
"Stuart coming back into the fray is brilliant for us," said Kiss.
"We know what he can do and what he can deliver. The plus for us is that the last month and a half he's been training quite a lot with us so he's familiar with it all. I gave Stu his Test debut when I had the national team (on the 2013 tour to North America) and it was challenging even then to say where you play him.
"He gives you all these options."
Ulster enter the game sixth in the PRO12 table, knowing that after last weekend's European exit the next six league clashes could define their season.
As well as Olding, Kiss is boosted by the return of Rob Herring and Luke Marshall from Ireland camp but Ruan Pienaar remains ill and Nick Williams picked up a groin injury during training this week.
Ulster Academy players Lorcan Dow and Jacob Stockdale could make their competitive debuts after being named in the replacements. The visitors will be strong favourites for a game against a Treviso side who have suffered 25 successive defeats.