Belfast Telegraph

Henry Speight starts in final Ulster game away to Connacht

Short stay: Australian international Henry Speight will play his last game for Ulster tomorrow
Short stay: Australian international Henry Speight will play his last game for Ulster tomorrow
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Australian winger Henry Speight will start in his final game for Ulster in Galway against Connacht before he returns to the Brumbies next week.

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The former Wallaby goes back to the Super Rugby franchise for the start of their campaign, but he has one final game with Ulster first and it's a tasty interpro.

In all, head coach Dan McFarland has made four changes to the side that played Munster in Belfast last week, mixing and matching several Irish internationals with some less experienced players.

Darren Cave returns to the starting line-up at inside centre with Stuart McCloskey named on the bench, Angus Kernohan is drafted onto the wing in place of Robert Baloucoune, while Johnny McPhillips gets the nod at fly-half ahead of Billy Burns.

Up front, the only change to the pack sees Nick Timoney rotate in for Sean Reidy in the back row, with the Dubliner named on the blindside flank and Marcell Coetzee at No.8.

Louis Ludik completes the back three alongside Speight and Kernohan, with Ireland international Will Addison providing a strong operator at outside centre, while John Cooney continues at scrum-half.

The increasingly impressive Eric O'Sullivan starts again at loosehead prop in an unchanged front row alongside captain Rob Herring and tighthead prop Marty Moore.

The second row is also unchanged as Ian Nagle and Kieran Treadwell go again, with Jordi Murphy rounding out the side at openside flanker.

On the bench, there could be a debut for Tommy O'Hagan if the loosehead is called upon at the Sportsground, with Adam McBurney and Ross Kane also providing front row replacements.

Clive Ross and Greg Jones provide the ballast in the back row, with the backs replacements seeing David Shanahan, Peter Nelson and McCloskey all named.

Ulster team to face Connacht in Galway (Tomorrow, 7.35pm)

(15-9) Louis Ludik; Henry Speight, Will Addison, Darren Cave, Angus Kernohan; Johnny McPhillips, John Cooney; (1-8) Eric O'Sullivan, Rob Herring (captain), Marty Moore; Ian Nagle, Kieran Treadwell; Nick Timoney, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Tommy O'Hagan, Ross Kane, Clive Ross, Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Peter Nelson, Stuart McCloskey.

Connacht

(15-9) Darragh Leader; Cian Kelleher, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Kyle Godwin; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; (1-8) Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Conor Carey; Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux; Sean O'Brien, Colby Fainga'a, Jarrad Butler (captain).

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Peter McCabe, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Ultan Dillane, Paul Boyle, James Mitchell, David Horwitz, Stephen Fitzgerald.

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