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Luke's good for Ulster as stars released for Edinburgh clash

Niall Crozier

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe's fears of pitching a rookie back-line in against Edinburgh tonight at Ravenhill (7.05pm) disappeared the moment he took a phone call from Dublin.

It told him that centres Luke Marshall and Darren Cave were being released from Ireland duty ahead of Sunday's game with New Zealand and were on their way home for the Edinburgh clash.

In addition, injured Irish internationals Craig Gilroy and Iain Henderson are fit to return and with Paul Marshall and Andrew Trimble also available, Ulster have ended up with six Irish international players in the starting line-up and three on the bench.

In total, Anscombe is able to field players who between them boast 67 Test appearances behind the scrum, a complete turnaround from the depleted ranks he faced earlier in the week – a real boost for him and the fans.

Ulster will also be led out by a new captain in Robbie Diack (right) who admitted: "It was a bit of a shock when Mark called out the team and I was captain, but it is a tremendous honour. I am hugely excited to be leading out such a talented bunch of guys and hopefully we can get the win."

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