Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Ulster name team to face Leinster in the RaboDirect PRO12 rugby final

John Afoa will start for Ulster in the RaboDirect PRO12 final
John Afoa will start for Ulster in the RaboDirect PRO12 final
Northern Ireland- 23rd May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Ulster fans gear up ahead of Saturday's Pro12 final against Leinster in Dublin. Ulster fans left to right get ready for the trip - Davy Hislop, Patricia Robinson and Sonny Bowyer from Bangor.
Northern Ireland- 23rd May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Ulster fans gear up ahead of Saturday's Pro12 final against Leinster in Dublin. Ruan Pienaar wife Monique and 16-month-old daughter Lemay collect their printed shirts from S.S. Moores' John Moorw before making the trip to Dublin.
Northern Ireland- 23rd May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Ulster fans gear up ahead of Saturday's Pro12 final against Leinster in Dublin. Ulster fans left to right get ready for the trip - Davy Hislop, Patricia Robinson and Sonny Bowyer from Bangor.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Central Station are Lindsay and Rachel Workman from Dollingstown Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Europa Bus Station Ian Forsythe and Alan Kilpatrick from south Belfast Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Central Station are Chris Simmons and Dennis Curry. Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Central Station Sarah Morrow and Rachel Bingham Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Europa Bus Station are Andrew Blair and Joanne Morgan from Downpatrick Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Europa Bus Station Henry and James Redpath with Mathew Daly- Shaw from Hollywood Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Europa Bus Station are Henry Grazer ,David Mc Court and Michael Magill from Comber Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Europa Bus Station are John Anderson David Beck from Belfast Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Europa Bus Station are Nigel and Andrew Wright with Glen Mc Carly from Carrick Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Europa Bus Station are Ronan O Doherty, Ursula Fay, Cara and Fionn O'Doherty with Helen Spratt and Paul Campbell from Londonderry. Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translinks train and coach services to make the journey to Dublins RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translinks Belfast Europa Bus Station Jackie and Margaret Crothers with Terry White from Belfast Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Thousands of Ulster Rugby fans used Translink?s train and coach services to make the journey to Dublin?s RDS to watch Ulster v Leinster battle it out in the Rabo Direct Pro12 Final on May 25. Dressed in red and white the sea of fans joined forces for a lively and exciting journey together to cheer on Ulster. Pictured before boarding the special rugby services at Translink?s Belfast Central Station is Harry Thalon from Bangor with Ulsters Neil McComb Picture by Brian Thompson/ Press Eye

John Afoa will start at tighthead in the only change to the Ulster team that defeated the Scarlets a fortnight ago for today's RaboDirect PRO12 Final against Leinster at the RDS (kick off 16.45).

The All Black prop missed the Play Off with a hamstring strain but has been passed fit for the end-of-season finale.

Afoa will join this summer’s Ireland captain, Rory Best, and Tom Court in the front row, while Ulster Captain, Johann Muller, continues his partnership with Dan Tuohy in the second-row. Robbie Diack and Chris Henry start either side of the scrum with the RaboDirect PRO12 Players’ Player of the Year, Nick Williams, selected at Number 8.

Ruan Pienaar starts at scrumhalf, with Paddy Jackson named at outhalf. 20 year-old Stuart Olding partners Darren Cave in midfield with British and Irish Lions winger, Tommy Bowe, joining Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne in the back three.

Commenting on his selection, Ulster Head Coach, Mark Anscombe, said: ‘It’s great to be able to welcome John back into the starting line-up. John and players like Ruan (Pienaar) and Johann (Muller) have been part of World Cup winning squads. When the big moments come, they are cool heads under pressure and you can’t put a price on that. When you put them together with our Ireland internationals and our excellent young players like Stuart Olding then you have a great mix.

‘However, Leinster are a quality team and we have a huge amount of respect for them. They will ask a lot of questions of us and we will have to play at our very best to beat them.

‘This is a massive match, a local derby and it is an occasion that everyone at Ulster is looking forward to. In recent seasons Ulster have been the bridesmaids too often. We have done our learning – it’s now time to step up and to prove that we are good enough.’

Ulster XV and replacements to face Leinster, RaboDirect PRO12 Final, RDS, Saturday 25th May 2013 (kick off 16.45);

(15-9): J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, S Olding, T Bowe, P Jackson, R Pienaar;
(1-8): T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (C), D Tuohy, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams;
Replacements (16-23): R Herring, C Black, D Fitzpatrick, I Henderson, M McComish, P Marshall, M Allen, P Nelson.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre