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Ulster v Newport Gwent Dragons: Paddy Jackson, Robbie Diack, Ruan Pienaar and Nick Williams return

Published 04/02/2016

Paddy Jackson has been named on the bench.
Paddy Jackson has been named on the bench.

Ulster have been boosted by the return of Paddy Jackson, Robbie Diack, Ruan Pienaar and Nick Williams for Friday night's clash against Newport Gwent Dragons at the Kingspan.

There are four changes from the starting line-up that beat Treviso at the weekend, as Diack, Pienaar, Jacob Stockdale and Pete Browne are selected in Kiss' side.

Jackson and Williams will start the match from the bench.

Stockdale, who made his debut in the bonus point win in Italy, will make his first senior start for the province after being named on the left wing.

Louis Ludik, fresh from penning a contract extension earlier this week, is retained at fullback, with Craig Gilroy continuing on the other wing. With limited training time this week due to a slight thigh injury, Rory Scholes is on the bench and will provide cover for the back three.

Stuart Olding made a try-scoring return from injury last weekend and he will again line out alongside fellow Ireland international, Darren Cave, in midfield. Pienaar, who has missed the last two games with an illness, will be joined at half back by Ian Humphreys, who enjoyed a 100% kicking record from the tee at Stadio Monigo last week.

The front row is unchanged, with captain Rob Herring to be joined by props Callum Black and Ricky Lutton. Browne will partner Alan O'Connor in the second row as Franco van der Merwe, who has started 16 of Ulster's 18 games this season, is given a well-earned rest. Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy and Roger Wilson will form a combative back row.

Jackson, Scholes and Paul Marshall are the backline replacements, front row cover will be provided by John Andrew, Kyle McCall and Bronson Ross, while Clive Ross and Williams complete the panel of 23.

Ulster will go top of the PRO12 league if they win on Friday night.

Ulster team and replacements to play Newport Gwent Dragons, Guinness PRO12, Kingspan Stadium, Friday 5th February, 7.35pm:

(15-9): L Ludik, C Gilroy, D Cave, S Olding, J Stockdale, I Humphreys, R Pienaar;

(1-8): C Black, R Herring (capt), R Lutton, A O'Connor, P Browne, R Diack, S Reidy, R Wilson;

Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, K McCall, B Ross, C Ross, N Williams, P Marshall, P Jackson, R Scholes.

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