Extended Ulster panel named for pre-season Leinster game
Doak predicts 14,000-strong crowd for inter-provincial warm-up game
Ulster have named a 33-man extended panel for the pre-season friendly against Leinster with new signing Peter Browne starting in the second row.
Sam Windsor and Paul Rowley, who also joined in the summer, are named as replacements, as are Ballymena’s Stephen Mulholland, who plays in the back row, and centre Mark Best of Belfast Harlequins.
All four are also set to represent the province for the first time in the game at the Kingspan on Friday night.
The returning Willie Faloon, who rejoined Ulster in the summer from Connacht is also named as a replacement.
Darren Cave, Craig Gilroy, Wiehahn Herbst and Franco van der Merwe have been named in the extended squad, alongside the exciting young talent of Jack Owens, Jacob Stockdale and Sam Arnold, who impressed for Ireland in this summer’s Junior World Championship in Italy and will give Friday's squad a mix of experience and raw talent.
Ulster head coach, Neil Doak, said the game would be a good warm-up for his charges ahead of the PRO12, which is just a fortnight away.
He said: “It will be a great opportunity for everyone to get some game time.
"The guys have been working hard for the past eight weeks and the match will give us the chance to see the new signings play and to judge how the young guys that have come in are performing.
“With it being an inter-provincial match and with potentially 14,000 people at the game, it will be a great atmosphere and a good way for us to warm up for the new season.”
Kick-off for the game is 7.30pm.
Full panel: J Owens, C Gilroy, D Cave, L Marshall, P Nelson, I Humphreys, P Marshall; (1-8): R Murphy, R Herring (Captain) W Herbst, P Browne, F Van der Merwe, C Ross, S Reidy, R Diack. Replacements: A Warwick, J Andrew, R Lutton, B Ross, A O’Connor, D Tuohy, C Joyce, F Taggart, W Faloon, S Mullholland, P Rowley, D Shanahan, S Windsor, J Stockdale, S McCloskey, S Arnold, L Ludik, M Best.