Belfast Telegraph

Ulster trio Rory Best, Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne return to face Connacht

Director of Rugby Les Kiss, has named his Ulster match day squad for Friday's Guinness PRO12 match against Connacht at the Kingspan Stadium.

He welcomes back his Irish international trio of Rory Best, as captain, Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne who starts at fullback.

Due to injury and the return of the international players there are five changes to the starting team that faced Glasgow at Scotstoun last weekend.

Rob Herring makes way for captain Rory Best who returns to the front row following Ireland's Six Nations campaign. Callum Black retains his position at loosehead, as does Ricky Lutton at tighthead.

Pete Browne replaces the injured Alan O'Connor in the second row, partnering Franco van der Merwe. Iain Henderson will make his first home appearance since December in the back row, and is joined by Chris Henry and Roger Wilson, who steps in for the injured Nick Williams.

Paddy Jackson and Ruan Pienaar continue their half back partnership.

Jared Payne and Andrew Trimble are back to full fitness and they replace Stuart Olding and Rory Scholes.

Stuart McCloskey continues to partner Luke Marshall in the midfield.

Paul Marshall, Stuart Olding and Darren Cave will provide backline cover. Rob Herring, Kyle McCall, Bronson Ross, Robbie Diack and Sean Reidy are named as the forward replacements.

Ulster team and replacements to face Connacht, Guinness PRO12, Kingspan Stadium, Friday April 1, 7.35pm:

(15-9): J Payne, A Trimble, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy, P Jackson, R Pienaar

(1-8): C Black, R Best (C), R Lutton, P Browne, F van der Merwe, I Henderson, C Henry, R Wilson.

(16-23): R Herring, K McCall, B Ross, R Diack, S Reidy, P Marshall, S Olding, D Cave. 

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