'A' team looks for win to book home tie in last eight
A rarely-visited place in the British and Irish Cup quarter-finals is beckoning for Ulster 'A' today when they meet Jersey Reds at St Peter (2pm). And should the side coached by Kieran Campbell and Willie Anderson get the better of the Reds - which they did when they met at Shaw's Bridge last October - who are currently one point behind leaders Ulster, then an all-important home game will come the province's way from finishing top of Pool One.
Lose and the 'A' team will have to travel for their knockout tie, though, there is a scenario, albeit unlikely, which could yet see them pushed out of the top eight if other results go against them and they fail to pick up any bonus points. While the 'A' team had a cadre of senior players for last week's bonus point victory over London Scottish, the emphasis this time has altered with only lock Alan O'Connor - who skippers the side on his return from being sidelined - and winger Jacob Stockdale being the most experienced operators at a higher level for the province.
With there is a shortage of fit props, Eric O'Sullivan has been brought in from Dublin University while Peter Cooper is at tight-head.
The worry is that Ulster will be overpowered up front by a much more formidable Jersey eight but, either way, they should still find themselves in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012.
Ulster 'A': J Owens, D Busby, R Butler, M Best, J Stockdale, J McPhillips, J Stewart; E O'Sullivan, J Murphy, P Cooper, A O'Connor (capt), J Donnan, S Mulholland, C Joyce, L Dow.
Subs: Z McCall, C Cundell, M Rea, N Timoney, J Creighton, A Magrath, C Patterson.