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Ulster make two changes for European second-leg tie with Toulouse as Ethan McIlroy and Andrew Warwick recalled

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Ulster winger Ethan McIlroy is back for Saturday's game against Toulouse

Ulster winger Ethan McIlroy is back for Saturday's game against Toulouse

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ulster winger Ethan McIlroy is back for Saturday's game against Toulouse

Ulster have made two changes to their team to face Toulouse in the second-leg of their Heineken Champions Cup last-16 tie at Ravenhill on Saturday night (8pm).

Dan McFarland’s side take a 26-20 lead into the second-leg after edging a pulsating first-leg at the Stadium de Toulouse a week ago and they have kept faith with the majority of the team that got them that advantage.

One of their changes is enforced, with winger Ben Moxham ruled out due to a concussion sustained in the first-leg, but Ethan McIlroy is back from his own concussion sustained against the Vodacom Bulls two weeks ago to start in his place.

The other alteration sees the rotation at loosehead prop continue, with Andrew Warwick coming into the line-up and Eric O’Sullivan taking his place on the bench.

Fears over the fitness of Stuart McCloskey, who was withdrawn early into the second-half of the first-leg, appear to have been allayed as he is named in the starting line-up at inside centre alongside James Hume.

McIlroy is joined in the back three by Ireland internationals Mike Lowry and last week’s hat-trick hero Robert Baloucoune, while John Cooney gets the nod at scrum-half in the half-back partnership with Billy Burns.

Warwick joins Rob Herring and Marty Moore in the front row, with Alan O’Connor and captain Iain Henderson once again forming the second row pairing. The back row of Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney and Duane Vermuelen is unchanged.

Wales hooker Brad Roberts, O’Sullivan and Ireland tighthead Tom O’Toole provide the front row ballast off the bench, with Ireland second row Kieran Treadwell and flanker Jordi Murphy the loose forward replacements.

Winger Rob Lyttle has to settle for a place on the bench despite deputising well after Moxham’s early departure a week ago, and he is joined in the backs replacements by Nathan Doak and Luke Marshall.

Meanwhile, Toulouse have made six changes to the team from the first-leg, with World Player of the Year Antoine Dupont starting at scrum-half despite being sick earlier in the week.

In the backs, Dimitri Delibes replaces the suspended Juan Cruz Mallia, who is still to discover how long he will be absent for his tackle in the air on Moxham a week ago, while Tim Nanai-Williams comes in at outside centre.

Up front, French Grand Slam winners Anthony Jelonch and Selevasio Tolofua are introduced to the back row, with former All Black tighthead prop Charlie Faumuina coming into the front row, while Richie Arnold is included in the second row alongside brother Rory.

In total, seven of the French squad that won ‘Le Grand Chelem’ are named in the run-on team for the visitors, while second row Thibaud Flament is also included on the bench.

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ULSTER

15. Mike Lowry; 14. Robert Baloucoune, 13. James Hume, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. Ethan McIlroy; 10. Billy Burns, 9. John Cooney; 1. Andrew Warwick, 2. Rob Herring, 3. Marty Moore; 4. Alan O’Connor, 5. Iain Henderson (captain); 6. Marcus Rea, 7. Nick Timoney, 8. Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: 16. Brad Roberts, 17. Eric O’Sullivan, 18. Tom O’Toole, 19. Kieran Treadwell, 20. Jordi Murphy, 21. Nathan Doak, 22. Luke Marshall, 23. Rob Lyttle.

TOULOUSE

15. Thomas Ramos; 14. Dimitri Delibes, 13. Tim Nanai-Williams, 12. Pita Ahki, 11. Matthis Lebel; 10. Romain Ntamack, 9. Antoine Dupont (captain); 1. Rodrigue Neti, 2. Peato Mauvaka, 3. Charlie Faumuina; 4. Rory Arnold, 5. Richie Arnold; 6. Rynhardt Elstadt, 7. Anthony Jelonch, 8. Selevasio Tolofua.

Replacements: 16. Guillaume Cramont, 17. David Ainu’u, 18. Dorian Aldegheri, 19. Emmanuel Meafou, 20. Thibaud Flament, 21. Antoine Miquel, 22. Baptiste Germain, 23. Lucas Tauzin.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)


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