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Ulster v Munster: Tuohy, Herbst back at last as injuries and Ireland force Kiss' hand


Comeback: Wiehahn Herbst will play in his first PRO12 tie since early 2016

Comeback: Wiehahn Herbst will play in his first PRO12 tie since early 2016

Comeback: Wiehahn Herbst will play in his first PRO12 tie since early 2016

As expected, Ulster will take on Munster at the Kingspan Stadium tonight (7.05pm kick-off) without the Irish internationals who are set to take on New Zealand from the start in Chicago a week tomorrow.

That means Rory Best, Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne drop out of the squad as three of the eight changes to the side who beat Exeter last weekend.

While Iain Henderson would have joined them on the sidelines even without the shoulder injury he picked up against the Chiefs, Les Kiss has been able to call upon a trio of the players who will travel Stateside with the national team on Sunday.

Paddy Jackson retains his place at out-half with Luke Marshall and Craig Gilroy restored to berths in midfield and on the wing respectively.

The rest of the backline has plenty of international talent too with Charles Piutau at full-back, Tommy Bowe on the wing, Ruan Pienaar at scrum-half and Darren Cave at inside centre.

Up front, Ulster have been boosted by the timely return of long-term absentees Dan Tuohy and Wiehahn Herbst.

Herbst's last game in the Guinness PRO12 was the first league clash of 2016 - when Munster last visited Belfast - and he comes straight back into the team after 40 minutes of action for the second string in the B&I Cup last weekend.

The prop's return comes at a time when it is most needed by Kiss with four other tight-heads out injured.

Rodney Ah You and Ross Kane picked up knocks last week while Ricky Lutton is over the groin injury that saw him miss the start of the season but is now nursing a toe problem.

Thanks to a calf issue, emergency signing Anton Peikrishvili is also on the shelf with the Georgian international yet to play a minute for the side.

Herbst joins an all-changed front-row with Callum Black and captain Rob Herring.

Tuohy returns to the senior panel, having been absent since December of last year, at a time when the lock cupboard also looks particularly bare.

Alan O'Connor and Pete Browne both picked up concussions last week meaning Tuohy is parachuted straight into the starting line-up alongside Franco Van der Merwe.

The back-row sees Robbie Diack return to team up with Roger Wilson and Sean Reidy.

With so many absentees caused by injury and the impending international window, there is plenty of change on the bench.

Conor Joyce could make his first appearance in over two years if called upon while Andy Warwick is included to provide tight-head cover rather than his more familiar role on the other side of the scrum.

Belfast Telegraph