| 12.7°C Belfast

Cardiff v Ulster: Paddy Jackson to lead charge at Arms Park


Captain's call: Paddy Jackson is to skipper Ulster

Captain's call: Paddy Jackson is to skipper Ulster

©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Captain's call: Paddy Jackson is to skipper Ulster

Paddy Jackson will once again captain Ulster when they take on Cardiff at the Arms Park tomorrow afternoon (2.30pm kick-off).

The 24-year-old had his first taste of skippering the side in last weekend's home reverse to Scarlets and, with Rory Best and Rob Herring two of the 14 players unavailable through injury or Irish commitments, the out-half will lead out the side for a second time in the Welsh capital.

While he again would have hoped to be with Ireland in Twickenham today, Jackson has Ruan Pienaar alongside him against the Blues as Ulster start with their first choice half-back pairing while there is also a return to action for number 8 Nick Williams against the team he will join this summer.

Fresh from training with Ireland this week, Craig Gilroy and Luke Marshall keep their places at wing and centre respectively where the latter will be partnered by the departing Sammy Arnold for a first time.

With youngster Jacob Stockdale making his third start in succession on the other wing, and Stuart Olding again featuring at full-back, Ulster have selected an unchanged back-three.

With Rob Herring failing to overcome his hamstring problem, John Andrew gets a second start with last week's debutant Jonny Murphy again on the bench.

Having not played last week, Callum Black wins his 101st cap at loosehead with the number three jersey going to Bronson Ross. Alan O'Connor is still struggling with the virus that cut short his outing against Scarlets so Peter Browne is alongside Franco van der Merwe in the engine room.

Fresh from a first start in almost two months last time out, Chris Henry is again at openside, with Robbie Diack joining him and Williams to round out the loose forward trio.

Among the replacements are two players who signed contract extensions this week. Tighthead Ricky Lutton is on the bench while Sean Reidy returns to the panel in the number 20 jersey.

Roger Wilson is a second back-rower on the bench and he is joined among the replacements by Kyle McCall.

As far as backline substitutes, it is all change from a week ago with Darren Cave and Paul Marshall dropping down from the starting side and Rory Scholes back from a muscle problem.

Belfast Telegraph