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Ravens aim to bounce back after British & Irish Cup woe

Ulster Ravens will be eager to rebound from the disappointment of their opening British and Irish Cup defeat at Aberavon when they host English Championship side Yorkshire Carnegie (formerly Leeds Carnegie) at the Kingspan Stadium today (kick-off 2pm).

The Ravens need to quickly rectify their 18-14 reverse in Wales if they are to challenge in Pool Two and may be encouraged in their endeavours by the fact that today’s opponents were turned over pretty handily 20-3 last weekend when hosting Rotherham Titans in their own B&I Cup tie.

Acting Academy Manager Kieran Campbell will have emphasised the importance of a much more accurate performance after his charges effectively lost control of the game at Aberavon.

Campbell has rung the changes with the side and his most notable selection is the inclusion of Luke Marshall who is back after a knock he picked up in the friendly against the Connacht Eagles while a new front row and half-back partnership has been selected.

Props Dave Ryan and Bronson Ross have been brought into the starting side while Paul Jackson is at hooker and, at half-back, Malone’s John Creighton and Josh Bingham are at scrum-half and out-half respectively, with Creighton presumably in after David Shanahan’s hamstring injury.

In the pack, the other changes see Conor Joyce in at flanker and James Simpson starting in the second row beside skipper Neil McComb.

Ricky Andrew is at full-back after being selected at centre against Aberavon with Peter Nelson — who was 15 in Wales — shifting to the left wing and Jack Owens moving from left to right wing. 

Elsewhere, prop Ricky Lutton makes a welcome return and takes his place on the Ravens bench.

Ulster Ravens: R Andrew, J Owens, J Stockdale, L Marshall, P Nelson, J Bingham, J Creighton; D Ryan, P Jackson, B Ross, N McComb (capt), J Simpson, S Reidy, C Joyce, C Butterworth.

Replacements: R Lutton, J Andrew, J Donnan, F Taggart, C Young, S O’Hagan, R Adair

Belfast Telegraph