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Paddy Jackson to captain Ulster in Cardiff Blues PRO12 clash

Paddy Jackson will captain Ulster for the Cardiff Blues Guinness Pro12 clash on Sunday.

Jackson will be partnered at half back by influential Springbok scrumhalf, Ruan Pienaar.

Rory Best, Stuart McCloskey, Jared Payne and Andrew Trimble are all unavailable because of their Ireland commitments.

Sammy Arnold and Luke Marshall will start in midfield together for the first time, with Craig Gilroy, Jacob Stockdale and Stuart Olding continuing in the back three.

John Andrew, who made his first Ulster start on Sunday, is retained at hooker and is joined in the front row by props Callum Black and Bronson Ross. Pete Browne and Franco van der Merwe will combine in the second row.

Nick Williams returns from injury to start at number eight, with Robbie Diack and Chris Henry operating as the other loose forwards.

Jonny Murphy, a debutant in last week's match against Cardiff, is in line to add a second cap after being named on the bench.

Ricky Lutton and Sean Reidy, who both signed contract extensions earlier this week, are also included on the bench along with fellow forwards Kyle McCall and Roger Wilson, who celebrated his 200th cap last time out.

The backline replacements are Paul Marshall, Darren Cave and Rory Scholes.

Ulster team and replacements to play Cardiff Blues, Guinness PRO12, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, Sunday, February 28, 2.30pm:

(15-9): S Olding, C Gilroy, L Marshall, S Arnold, J Stockdale, P Jackson (captain), R Pienaar;

(1-8): C Black, J Andrew, B Ross, P Browne, F van der Merwe, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams;

Replacements (16-23): J Murphy, K McCall, R Lutton, R Wilson, S Reidy, P Marshall, D Cave, R Scholes.

Unavailable for selection (injury): Tommy Bowe (knee), Willie Faloon (foot), Iain Henderson (hamstring), Ian Humphreys (hip), Wiehahn Herbst (great toe), Rob Herring (hamstring), Louis Ludik (thigh), Peter Nelson (foot), Alan O'Connor (viral infection), Dan Tuohy (ankle).

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