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Ulster v Cardiff Blues: John Afoa replaces Declan Fitzpatrick

Published 25/10/2013

Main motivator: John Afoa starts for Ulster
Main motivator: John Afoa starts for Ulster

John Afoa is set to start for Ulster tonight in a late change after Declan Fitzpatrick failed a fitness test.

Ricky Lutton comes in on the bench as a front-row replacement.

Ulster Head Coach, Mark Anscombe, had yesterday made two personnel changes and one positional switch to the team that beat Montpellier last Saturday for tonight’s game against Cardiff Blues at Ravenhill.

Jared Payne moves from fullback to outside centre, with Darren Cave selected on the bench. Stuart Olding starts his first game for Ulster at 15.

Up front, Callum Black starts at loosehead with Tom Court, who was named in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad this week, moving to the bench.

Mike McComish, man-of-the-match for the Ulster Ravens against Jersey last Friday night, is on the bench in place of Iain Henderson who will be out for up to six weeks with a toe injury.

Commenting on his selection at fullback, Stuart Olding said: "When the team was read out and I wasn’t playing at outhalf or centre, I thought that I was going to be on the bench again, but I was really pleased when I learned that I would be starting at fullback.

“It is a position that I really enjoy playing in. I was fullback for Ireland Under 20s in the 6 Nations and the Junior World Championship so I am very confident there and I am looking forward to tomorrow night’s game.”

Ulster XV and replacements to face Cardiff Blues, RaboDirect PRO12, Ravenhill, Friday 25th October (kick off 19:05); (15-9): S Olding, A Trimble, J Payne, L Marshall, T Bowe, P Jackson, R Pienaar; (1-8): C Black, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (Captain), D Tuohy, R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson; Replacements (16-23): R Herring, T Court, R Lutton, L Stevenson, M McComish, P Marshall, D Cave, M Allen.

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