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Let's end the year on a high with a revenge win, vows Ulster's Gilroy

 

Craig Gilroy
Craig Gilroy

By Michael Sadlier

Craig Gilroy wants Ulster to sign off for 2019, and the decade, with a resounding win over Irish rivals Connacht at their Kingspan Stadium fortress tonight (kick-off 7.35pm).

Dan McFarland's squad have put together an impressive 17-game unbeaten run at home since Connacht won in Belfast in October 2018 and Gilroy is determined that Ulster will continue that form.

"Hopefully we can finish the decade on a win and keep the unbeaten run going," said Gilroy, who is on the bench.

"It's fitting that Connacht was the last loss we had at home and it's an opportunity, I suppose, to put that right again.

"Touch wood we keep that (the unbeaten run of home games) going," added Gilroy who will make his 178th Ulster appearance if called into the action.

"I think with our home performances, we've really strengthened this place as a fortress.

"It's at a nice time of year too," he said, "I enjoy these festive games as there's always a great buzz."

Ulster have made 13 changes from the side which lost 54-42 at Leinster, a result which ended a five-game winning run, with Will Addison back after his four-week ban.

Jack McGrath returns from having had thumb surgery in November, while Robert Baloucoune is also fit again. Marcell Coetzee, Rob Herring, Stuart McCloskey, Luke Marshall, John Cooney and Billy Burns are also brought back into what is a strong Ulster side.

Iain Henderson and Jacob Stockdale sit it out due to Ireland management calls. Jordi Murphy is also not involved.

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