Injury boosts for Ulster but Munster bring back eight World Cup stars for PRO14 clash
Stuart McCloskey and Marty Moore are both back in the Ulster line-up for Saturday's PRO14 trip to Munster along with two of Ireland's World Cup players.
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Jacob Stockdale and Jordi Murphy return to the starting team after their World Cup exploits, although there is still no place for captain Iain Henderson after Ireland's campaign in Japan.
Munster welcome back EIGHT Ireland internationals as Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander all start, with Conor Murray among the replacements.
McCloskey has played only 46 minutes for Ulster so far this season after picking up a shoulder injury during the win over Southern Kings almost a month ago.
As Ulster make eight changes for the trip south, McCloskey returns to start at centre, with Matt Faddes shifting to full-back to replace Will Addison. The Irish international was withdrawn after only 17 minutes against Zebre last week and, while the province have yet to provide any details on his shoulder injury, he was seen in a sling later in the game.
Louis Ludik misses out after sustaining a concussion last week and so Rob Lyttle is shifted to 14, with Jacob Stockdale coming in at 11 for his first Ulster appearance of the season. Robert Baloucoune is among the replacements for the first time this season after injury hampered his start to the campaign.
Angus Curtis, 21, is in for his first start of the campaign, joining John Cooney is the half-back positions as Bill Johnston and David Shanahan drop to the bench.
In the pack, Moore returns for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in April and lines up alongside Jack McGrath and Rob Herring in the front row.
Sam Carter replaces Kieran Treadwell at lock, where he joins Alan O'Connor while Sean Reidy and Murphy come into the back row alongside Nick Timoney. Matthew Rea drops to the bench and Marcel Coetzee is rested ahead of next weekend's first European outing of the season.
Ulster team to play Munster Rugby, Saturday 9 November at Thomond Park (kick-off 5:15pm)
(15-9): Matt Faddes, Rob Lyttle, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Angus Curtis, John Cooney.
(1-8): Jack McGrath, Rob Herring (Capt), Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.
Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, David Shanahan, Bill Johnston, Robert Baloucoune.
Munster team to play Ulster
(15-9): Mike Haley, Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Liam Coombes, JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson
(1-8): James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland, Peter O'Mahony (Capt), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O'Byrne, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley, Jack O’Donoghue, Conor Murray, Tyler Bleyendaal, Arno Botha.
Belfast Telegraph Digital