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Ulster make two changes for return clash with Harlequins in Champions Cup

Louis Ludik is in for the injured Tommy Bowe
Louis Ludik is in for the injured Tommy Bowe

Ulster have made only two changes to the side that beat Harlequins on Sunday ahead of the return Champions Cup clash at Kingspan Stadium on Friday (kick-off 7.45pm).

Chris Henry, an impressive performer off the bench during the 5-17 win last weekend, has earned a starting berth in the back row as Sean Reidy drops to the bench.

Louis Ludik will start at outside centre in place of the injured Tommy Bowe (hamstring).

Although Head Coach Jonno Gibbes had hinted that Darren Cave could be an option with Bowe missing, the centre is not in the squad.

Andrew Trimble, selected on the bench, is the only new face in the panel of 23.

Iain Henderson, who will captain the side, and Abbey Insurance Academy player Nick Timoney, who made his European debut last weekend, will join Henry in the back row.

Alan O'Connor and Kieran Treadwell are paired in the second row, while Callum Black, Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst retained in the front row.

John Cooney, last week's Heineken Man of the Match, will continue as Christian Lealiifano's half back partner, with Stuart McCloskey in midfield alongside Ludik.

Jacob Stockdale, who scored his sixth try of the season at the Stoop, is again included in the back three along with Craig Gilroy and Charles Piutau.

Ulster currently occupies second position in Pool 1 and a win would put them in a strong position ahead of Rounds 5 and 6 in January.

A limited number of tickets for the clash at Kingspan Stadium are still available here.

Ulster Rugby team to play Harlequins, Kingspan Stadium, Friday 15th December, 7.45pm

(1-8): C Black, R Herring, W Herbst, A O'Connor, K Treadwell, I Henderson (captain), C Henry, N Timoney;

(9-15): J Cooney, C Lealiifano; J Stockdale, S McCloskey, L Ludik, C Gilroy, C Piutau.

Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, A Warwick, R Kane, M Rea, S Reidy, P Marshall, P Nelson, A Trimble.

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