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Ulster team news: Robert Baloucoune out as Ireland internationals return for Harlequins Champions Cup clash

Robert Baloucoune
Robert Baloucoune

Ulster winger Robert Baloucoune has not been included in the squad for Saturday's Champions Cup tie at home to Harlequins.

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The 22-year-old was named man of the match for last weekend's bonus point win over Scarlets at Kingspan Stadium as he made his first start of the season after a knee injury hampered his start to the campaign.

Having played the full game, he seemed to have come through unscathed but there is no sign of Baloucoune in the Ulster panel to take on Harlequins in the season's third European game.

Jacob Stockdale returns but is named at full-back, with Louis Ludik switching to the wing, where he starts opposite Craig Gilroy.

It's one of five changes to the Ulster starting XI with Stockdale's fellow internationals Iain Henderson and Jordy Murphy coming back in along with Billy Burns and Luke Marshall.

Marshall returns to partner Stuart McCloskey at centre, with Matt Faddes dropping to the bench, while Billy Burns takes Bill Johnston's place at fly-half, linking up once again with John Cooney.

In the pack, captain Iain Henderson returns to join Alan O'Connor in the second row, the Dubliner preferred to Kieran Treadwell, who is instead named among the replacements.

The other change comes in the back row, where Jordi Murphy returns at openside flanker, with Sean Reidy switching to blindside and Matthew Rea dropping to the bench. Marcell Coetzee, of course, remains at number eight while Eric O'Sullivan, Rob Herring and Marty Moore all hold their places in the front row for the third game in succession.

Ulster will be confident of making it three wins in a row to start their European campaign in the game that kicks off at 3.15pm at Kingspan Stadium.

Adam McBurney, Andrew Warwick and Tom O’Toole join Treadwell and Rea as the forward reinforcements, while covering the back line will be David Shanahan along with Johnston and Faddes.

Ulster team to play Harlequins

(15-9) Jacob Stockdale, Louis Ludik, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Eric O'Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O'Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.), Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Andrew Warwick, Tom O'Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, David Shanahan, Bill Johnston, Matt Faddes.

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