Andrew Trimble, Tommy Bowe and Darren Cave in Ulster line-up for New Year's Eve Leinster clash
Les Kiss has named the Ulster match day panel that will travel to play Leinster in the RDS Arena on New Year's Eve.
Andrew Trimble will return to the starting XV for the Guinness PRO12 clash after recovering from a foot injury sustained while on international duty in November.
Paul Marshall, Darren Cave and Tommy Bowe, who were on the bench for the game versus Connacht last Friday, are also selected in the backline.
Marshall's inclusion at scrumhalf will see Ruan Pienaar shift to flyhalf, while Cave will partner Stuart McCloskey in midfield. Bowe and Trimble will be joined by Charles Piutau in the back three.
Forwards Rob Herring, Franco van der Merwe and Sean Reidy have also been promoted to the starting team, meaning Kiss has made seven personnel changes for the trip to Dublin.
Herring will captain the side from hooker and he will be joined in the front row by Andy Warwick and Rodney Ah You, both of whom have been retained from the win over Connacht.
Kieran Treadwell and van der Merwe are paired in the second row, with Reidy joining Clive Ross and Roger Wilson in the back row.
With Wiehahn Herbst picking up a calf injury in training this week, tighthead prop Jonny Simpson is in line to make his first senior appearance if he's utilised from the bench. John Andrew and Callum Black are the other front row replacements. Pete Browne and Chris Henry will provide additional cover for the pack.
Brett Herron, Jacob Stockdale and Louis Ludik, who will make his 50th Ulster appearance if called upon, complete the match day 23.
Ulster has traditionally struggled in Dublin and has secured only one win against Leinster in the Irish capital since 1999.
Many of the home team's key players who missed the trip to Limerick to play Munster are set to be back in situ as Leinster aim to defend their 18-game unbeaten run in the PRO12 at the RDS, which dates back to February 2015.
The match will be televised live on Sky Sports 2, with live coverage also to be broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster and RTE Radio.
Ulster team & replacements to play Leinster, Guinness PRO12, Saturday 31st December, RDS Arena (3.00pm kick-off):
(15-9): C Piutau, A Trimble, D Cave, S McCloskey, T Bowe, R Pienaar, P Marshall;
(1-8): A Warwick, R Herring (captain), R Ah You, K Treadwell, F van der Merwe, C Ross, S Reidy, R Wilson;
Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, C Black, J Simpson, P Browne, C Henry, B Herron, L Ludik, J Stockdale.
Belfast Telegraph Digital