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O’Donoghue is set to follow Boss to Leinster

By Ciaran Donaghy

Ulster are set to see another of their key performers head south for Leinster.

The Heineken Cup champions, who have captured scrum-half Isaac Boss, are set to swoop for second-row Ed O'Donoghue.

Ulster recently signed South African second-row Johann Muller on a two-year deal and O'Donoghue could be freed up for a switch.

Ireland duo Rory Best and Stephen Ferris return to the Ulster starting line-up for tonight’s crucial Magners league game at the Cardiff Blues.

British Lions flanker Ferris hasn’t represented the province since the Heineken Cup win at Bath while hooker Best missed the last league outing at the Scarlets.

Coach Brian McLaughlin makes six changes from the team that went down 25-8 in Llanelli.

Paul Marshall comes in to solve the crisis at scrum-half as Boss and Cillian Willis are both injured.

Willis broke his leg playing for the Ulster Ravens against Connacht at Barnhall while Boss has a hamstring problem. Niall O’Connor partners his club colleague Marshall at out half and Scottish wing Simon Danielli is restored to the starting line-up in place of Fijian Timoci Nagusa.

The other change comes in the pack with Ireland A international Dan Tuohy replacing O’Donoghue who drops to the bench. Cardiff coach Dia Young has named a strong side for the visit of Ulster. Most interest will be in former All Black No8 Xavier Rush who starts for the Blues but will become an Ulster player in the summer.

Meanwhile, Tommy Bowe has been voted the Player of the RBS Six Nations by fans. Bowe said: “It has been a Championship of mixed emotions for the Irish team but to be named the RBS Player of the Championship is a fantastic way to end what has been an exciting year for the RBS 6 Nations.

“The Tournament is always enjoyable and fantastic for rugby fans across Europe with some sensational, competitive rugby produced year after year. To be voted RBS Player of the Championship by the fans is a huge compliment and I thank them for taking the time to vote.”

Ulster: Jamie Smith, Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Simon Danielli, Niall O'Connor, Paul Marshall, Tom Court, Rory Best, BJ Botha, Dan Tuohy, Ryan Caldwell, Stephen Ferris, David Pollock, Chris Henry (capt). Replacements: Nigel Brady, Declan Fitzpatrick, Ed O'Donoghue, Robbie Diack, Michael Heaney, Ian Humphreys, Timoci Nagusa.

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