Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby Ulster

Ulster v Glasgow Warriors: Les Kiss given real lift by release of Ireland trio

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 12/02/2016

Ulster have been boosted by the return of Paddy Jackson, Stuart McCloskey and Rob Herring from Ireland duty for the side's game against Glasgow Warriors in the PRO12.

Jackson, McCloskey and Herring all spent the early part of the week at Carton House as the national side prepare to take on France in their crunch Six Nations encounter at the Stade de France tomorrow but will be back in the colours of their province at the Kingspan Stadium this evening.

There is a return for another Irish international in the form of Chris Henry, who comes onto the bench after his shoulder injury.

Herring starts at hooker and again captains the side in the absence of Ireland skipper Rory Best, while McCloskey comes into the midfield alongside Darren Cave after starting last week's win over Dragons on the bench.

With Joe Schmidt continuing to opt for the versatility of Ian Madigan as his replacement out-half, last Friday's match-winner Jackson again finds himself available to take a place on Ulster's bench.

With Ian Humphreys suffering from the concussion that ended his outing at half-time in last week's win, Jackson will this time be backing up Sam Windsor, who makes his first senior start for the province.

The 28-year-old No.10 spent last season with Worcester Warriors but his time in Belfast has to date only brought appearances for Ulster's A side and Ballynahinch in the All-Ireland league. Now he will have the nerve-settling presence of Ruan Pienaar as his half-back partner.

Elsewhere in the backline, Louis Ludik's groin injury sees Stuart Olding move to full-back, with his 12 jersey filled by McCloskey, while Craig Gilroy and Jacob Stockdale continue on the wings.

Up front, it will be a memorable occasion for prop Callum Black who is the latest player to rack up a century of appearances for the province.

The loosehead, who turns 30 next month, also came to Ulster from Worcester, joining from the Aviva Premiership side in 2011.

Ulster's Franco van der Merwe drives for the line. Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
Ulster's Franco van der Merwe drives for the line. Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
Ulster's Paddy Jackson. Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
Ulster's Paddy Jackson.Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
Ulster's Alan O'Connor is tackled by Glasgow's Rob Harley, Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
Try for Ulster's Callum Black. Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
Try for Ulster's Callum Black. Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
Ulster's Franco van der Merwe takes the ball in the line. Pics PressEye Darren Kidd
Ulster's Nick Williams is tackled by Glasgow's Rob Harley. Pic PressEye Darren Kidd
Ulster's Stuart Olding is tackled by Glasgow's Ryan Wilson, Simone Favaro and Glenn Bryce. Pics Darren Kidd PressEye
Ulster's Stuart McCloskey is tackled by Glasgow's Glenn Bryce.
Ulster's Robbie Diack is tackled by Glasgow's Rob Harley and Gregor Hunter
Ulster's Robbie Diack is tackled by Glasgow's Greg Peterson.
Ulster's is Ruan Pienaar is attended to.
Ulster's Nick Williams drives forward.
Ulster's Rob Herring tries the break the Glasgow line.
Ulster's Rob Herring tries the break the Glasgow line.
Ulster's Franco van der Merwe is tackled by Glasgow's Greg Peterson.
Ulster's Robbie Diack is tackled by Glasgow's Rob Harley and Gregor Hunter.
Ulster's Alan O'Connor is tackled by Glasgow's Gregor Hunter and Glenn Bryce.

Alongside the one-time Emerging Ireland player and Herring at the coal face will again be Ricky Lutton.

Alan O'Connor, off the back of another encouraging outing last time out, is joined in the engine room by Franco van der Merwe, who was rested last week.

Robbie Diack is over the effects of last week's suspected concussion to take his place in the back-row where he is again joined by Sean Reidy, with Nick Williams taking the place of Roger Wilson who drops to the bench.

John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Bronson Ross and Paul Marshall are also among the replacements.

After earning top spot with last week's win, Director of Rugby Les Kiss is hoping his side don't come back down to earth with a jolt when taking on last season's champions.

"The fact that they are champions is a massive warning for anyone who plays them. You don't do that without being good at a lot of things, even if the season hasn't panned out as well as they would have liked," he said of the side who currently sit eighth in the table, albeit with two games in hand.

"They know they have two to pick up so if they pick one up against us and one the following week and the two spares they are right back in the hunt. It would be a fool who would lower their guard and think they are gone."

Your Comments

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

Read More

Widget page
Widget page

From Belfast Telegraph