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Ulster v Scarlets: Rob Herring brings up century while Jackson makes a start

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 16/09/2016

Ton-up: Ulster hooker Rob Herring wins his 100th Ulster cap tonight
Ton-up: Ulster hooker Rob Herring wins his 100th Ulster cap tonight

Rob Herring will win his 100th Ulster cap when he leads out the side against Scarlets tonight (7.05pm kick-off), while Paddy Jackson and Iain Henderson are in the squad for the first time this season.

Hooker Herring made his debut for the province back in 2012 having originally been brought over from South Africa on a six-month deal.

Four years on, this season's co-captain says it is the people at the club who have made the last 99 appearances so special.

"At first I just thought I'd come and see how it goes, give professional rugby one last shot," he said. "If it didn't work out I was going to go home and study. Luckily enough it started well and I've never looked back.

"Playing for this team, the highlights have been the life-long friends I've made. There are such special people here.

"It's a massive honour to be captain of this province with so much history, especially with Andrew Trimble. You look at the past captains and it's a huge honour to be part of that club."

Les Kiss has made eight changes to his starting line-up with Jackson's return to the number 10 jersey a big boost as the Irish out-half again links up with scrum-half Ruan Pienaar. Charles Piutau is fit again after a minor thumb issue and comes in at full-back with winger Craig Gilroy over the concussion he suffered against Dragons two weeks ago. They are joined in the back three by Louis Ludik who will be on the left wing.

There is a change in the midfield too with Stuart McCloskey replacing fellow Irish international Luke Marshall and Stuart Olding shifting from 12 to 13.

Just like in the back division, there are four changes in the pack with Kiss opting for an all-new engine room,

While Kieran Treadwell and Franco van der Merwe started in Treviso, it will be Peter Browne and Alan O'Connor packing down in the second-row this evening. Van der Merwe has dropped to the bench.

Up front, Callum Black comes straight back in to the loose head jersey with Herring and Rodney Ah You finishing the make-up of the front row.

With Henderson, Marshall and Rob Lyttle on the bench, Ulster have impact among their replacements.

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