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Ulster team news: Five changes as Iain Henderson and Will Addison return to start for Scarlets trip

Iain Henderson
Iain Henderson

Ireland stars Iain Henderson and Will Addison have returned to the Ulster team for Friday’s crucial Heineken Champions Cup clash against Scarlets.

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Fellow internationals Rory Best and Jacob Stockdale, as well as Academy prop Eric O’Sullivan, are also included in the starting XV after featuring off the bench in the home win versus Cardiff Blues.

Addison is in after coming through Head Injury Assessment protocols following a clash in Ireland's win over USA. Billy Burns also came through an HIA assessment to start after his early withdrawal at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday.

There are five changes to the starting line-up from the victory over Cardiff. Michael Lowry drops out with Louis Ludik shifting to full-back to accommodate Stockdale while Addison replaces James Hume at centre.

In the pack, Rory Best comes in as captain, taking the place of Rob Herring at hooker to equal Andrew Trimble’s club record of 71 European appearances.

Eric O'Sullivan will at Best's side at loosehead, in for the injured Andy Warwick, while Iain Henderson comes into the second row in place of Alan O'Connor, who suffered an ankle injury against Cardiff.

Henderson will partner Kieran Treadwell, Ulster’s try-scorer against the Blues last week,while the loose forward trio of Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy and Marcell Coetzee is unchanged.

Kyle McCall could make his 50th Ulster appearance, his first since April, after recovering from injury and being selected among the replacements. Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea and Nick Timoney will provide additional forward cover. Dave Shanahan, Johnny McPhillips and Darren Cave are the backline options.

There is no place for new recruit Ian Nagle, who has picked up a knock and as such has not yet been added to the European squad.

Ulster team to play Scarlets

(15-9): L Ludik; H Speight, W Addison, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; B Burns, J Cooney;

(1-8): E O’Sullivan, R Best (captain), M Moore, I Henderson, K Treadwell, S Reidy, J Murphy, M Coetzee;

Replacements (16-23): R Herring, K McCall, T O’Toole, M Rea, N Timoney, D Shanahan, J McPhillips, D Cave.

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