Codling's big hitters looking to rattle Blues
Ulster A have made some notable additions to their starting side as they bid to make it two wins from two when travel to meet Bedford Blues today in the British and Irish Cup (kick-off 2.30pm).
In come Luke Marshall - there is no place for him this week in the senior side after being selected for the postponed game at Oyonnax - for his first game-time since early last month, Sam Arnold, Rory Scholes, Lewis Stevenson and Sean Reidy while Andy Warwick also makes a return from injury.
Ulster A coach Alex Codling - who formerly played at Bedford - has been dealt a strong hand for this clash and the squad, skippered again by Willie Faloon, will travel with confidence to the English Championship side after having impressively beaten Bristol - albeit a watered down version of the West Country side's strongest 15 - at the Kingspan last week. Rest assured that Bedford - who are fourth in their domestic league - will also be feeling pretty good about themselves as they have yet to be beaten at home this season and even opened their B&I account by whacking the Scarlets Select side 35-6 in Wales last weekend.
"We were delighted with the performance (against Bristol) but there were opportunities missed (no bonus point was taken) and there has been loads to work on," said Codling. "The boys are keen to push on this weekend and having a back-to-back week has given us a real opportunity to develop as a group. We know how tough it will be at Bedford," he added while mentioning that managing the sloping ground will also play its part.
"It's a great ground and there will be a big crowd and a great atmosphere so we're looking forward to the challenge."
Ulster A: J McPhillips; R Lyttle, S Arnold, L Marshall, R Scholes; S Windsor, D Shanahan; A Warwick, J Andrew, J Simpson, L Stevenson, P Browne, C Ross, W Faloon (capt), S Reidy. Replacements: J Murphy, R Murphy, B Ross, A O'Connor, S Mulholland, P Rowley, C Patterson.