Rory Best and Paddy Jackson return to Ulster team for Clermont clash

Rory Best and Paddy Jackson return to Ulster team for Clermont clash

Rory Best and Paddy Jackson are included in Ulster's starting XV for Saturday's Champions Cup fixture against Pool 5 leaders ASM Clermont Auvergne.

The international pair are two of four changes to the team that claimed a bonus point win over Cardiff Blues last weekend, with Robbie Diack and Louis Ludik also earning starting berths.

Best will captain the side from hooker and he will be joined in the front row by props Kyle McCall and Wiehahn Herbst.

Diack and Pete Browne will form a mobile second row unit, with Iain Henderson, Chris Henry and Sean Reidy making up an all-international loose forward trio.

Jackson will partner Ruan Pienaar at half back, while Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall will continue in midfield.

Ludik, who made a try-scoring return from injury in Cardiff, is named in a back three that also includes Tommy Bowe and Charles Piutau.

Ulster has won seven of its last eight home games against Top 14 opposition but on Saturday they come up against a formidable Clermont side that has won its last five games against Irish opposition.

Franck Azéma's men have been extremely impressive so far this season as they remain the only team to take maximum points from their opening two European games, and also lead the way in the Top 14, with just 3 losses after 13 rounds.

Ulster v ASM Clermont Auvergne at the Kingspan Stadium Saturday December 10 - kick-off 1.00pm.

Ulster team: C Piutau, T Bowe, L Marshall, S McCloskey, L Ludik, P Jackson, R Pienaar; K McCall, R Best (capt), W Herbst, P Browne, R Diack, I Henderson, C Henry, S Reidy.

Replacements: R Herring, A Warwick, R Ah You, K Treadwell, C Ross, P Marshall, D Cave, J Stockdale.

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