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Ulster v Bath team news: Will Addison passed fit to play but Marty Moore misses out

 

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Will Addison

Will Addison

�INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Will Addison

Will Addison has been passed fit to start Ulster's crunch Champions Cup clash with Bath this weekend.

The 27-year-old back was on crutches after picking up a calf injury in last weekend's defeat to Clermont at the Stade Marcel Michelin.

Both he and tighthead prop Marty Moore were withdrawn early from the game, with Moore's ankle injury enough to rule him out of the province's final Pool 3 match at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 3.15pm).

That means Tom O'Toole, who was this week named in the Ireland squad for the first two Six Nations fixtures, comes in for a straight swap in Ulster's only change.

Bath, meanwhile, field two England internationals but are less than full strength, with one eye on next weekend's Premiership game at home to Leicester.

Addison is again joined in Ulster's back three by Robert Baloucoune and Jacob Stockdale on the wings. The familiar centre pairing of Luke Marshall and Stuart McCloskey will start in midfield. John Cooney and Billy Burns retain their half-back partnership, with Burns once again going up against brother Freddie, who starts at number 10 for the visitors.

Jack McGrath, starting at loosehead and Rob Herring at hooker are named with O’Toole at tighthead. Alan O’Connor will combine with Iain Henderson who captains the side in the second row. Sean Reidy is retained at blindside flanker, with Jordi Murphy at openside and Marcell Coetzee gets the number eight starting berth.

In the replacements, forwards Ross Kane and Nick Timoney, and winger Craig Gilroy return to the bench. They are named with Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan and Kieran Treadwell who make up the other forward options. David Shanahan and Bill Johnston are the other back line reinforcements.

Bath make eight changes to the shadow side that lost 25-19 at home to Harlequins.

Lock Charlie Ewels captains the side on his return from a two-month injury lay-off. England World Cup players Ruaridh McConnochie and Sam Underhill return but there is no place in the squad for fellow internationals Jonathan Joseph and Anthony Watson.

 

A win would see Ulster through to the knock-out stages of the Heineken Champions Cup, where they are likely to travel to either Exeter or Toulouse.

Ulster team to play Bath Rugby

(15-9) Will Addison; Robert Baloucoune, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Billy Burns, John Cooney.

(1-8) Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (C), Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane, Kieran Treadwell, Nick Timoney, David Shanahan, Bill Johnston, Craig Gilroy.

Bath team to play Ulster Rugby

(15-9): Tom Homer; Gabe Hamer-Webb, Jackson Willison, Max Wright, Ruaridh McConnochie; Freddie Burns, Ollie Fox.

(1-8): Beno Obano, Jack Walker, Will Stuart, Matt Garvey, Charlie Ewels (C), Tom Ellis, Sam Underhill, Josh Bayliss.

Replacements: Ross Batty, Lucas Noguera, Sam Nixon, Josh McNally, Mike Williams, Chris Cook, Rhys Priestland, Aled Brew.

Belfast Telegraph