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Ospreys v Ulster team news: Ulster make eight changes as Ludik and Moore return


Louis Ludik is back from injury

Louis Ludik is back from injury

©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Louis Ludik is back from injury

Louis Ludik and Marty Moore will both start for Ulster in tomorrow's PRO14 tie at Ospreys after being passed fit to return to action.

Dan McFarland makes as many as eight changes to his side from last month's Champions Cup win over Bath, with two of the four players released from Ireland's Six Nations camp also named in the starting XV.

Billy Burns and Stuart McCloskey are in, while Jack McGrath and Tom O'Toole are named among the replacements.

Ludik is back for his first game since suffering ankle ligament damage in December while Moore sat out the game against Bath, also with an ankle issue.

As Will Addison and Jacob Stockdale remain with the Ireland squad, Matt Faddes and Ludik join Robert Baloucoune in the back three, while Dave Shanahan deputises for John Cooney as Billy Burns' half-back partner. Michael Lowry had been thought to be back in contention for a return after four months out but has not been included in the matchday squad.

McCloskey is once again joined in midfield by Luke Marshall.

In the pack, there's a new front three as Moore comes in along with loosehead Eric O'Sullivan and hooker Adam McBurney.

Kieran Treadwell replaces Iain Henderson at lock, with his partner Alan O'Connor named as captain.

In the back row, Jordi Murphy is dropped to the bench, while Sean Reidy shifts to number seven, making room for Matthew Rea the other side of Marcell Coetzee.

McGrath, O’Toole and Murphy are joined as forward reinforcements by John Andrew and David O’Connor. Providing back line cover are Jonny Stewart, Bill Johnston and Craig Gilroy.

Ospreys are without Wales internationals Justin Tipuric, Alun Wyn Jones and George North, although lock Adam Beard has been released by the international side to start and centre Owen Watkin is back in the number 13 jersey after injury.

Ospeys team to play Ulster

(15-9): Cai Evans, Hanno Dirksen, Owen Watkin, Kieran Williams, Luke Morgan, Luke Price, Aled Davies

(1-8): Nicky Smith, Scott Otten, Simon Gardiner, Adam Beard, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate (C), Olly Cracknell, Gareth Evans

Replacements: Sam Parry, Gareth Thomas, Gheorghe Gajion, Lloyd Ashley, Sam Cross, Shaun Venter, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, James Hook

Ulster team to play Ospreys

(15-9): Matt Faddes, Robert Baloucoune, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Louis Ludik, Billy Burns, David Shanahan.

(1-8): Eric O'Sullivan, Adam McBurney, Marty Moore, Alan O'Connor (C), Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: John Andrew, Jack McGrath, Tom O'Toole, David O'Connor, Jordi Murphy, Jonny Stewart, Bill Johnston, Craig Gilroy.

Belfast Telegraph