Ulster and Connacht have both named their teams for tomorrow night's Pro14 clash at 7.35pm in the Kingspan Stadium.
For Connacht their captain Jarrad Butler returns from injury in one of four changes to the side named against Leinster last weekend.
Academy player Paul Boyle also comes into the back row where he is named at number 8.
There is one change in the front row as Tom McCartney starts at hooker in place of the injured Dave Heffernan who captained the team against Leinster. The remainder of the front five is unchanged with props Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham both included as is Ultan Dillane and Quinn Roux in the second row.
Jack Carty and Kieran Marmion continue their half-back partnership as do Bundee Aki and Tom Farrell in the midfield.
Matt Healy’s return from injury on the wing sees him included in a back three that includes Niyi Adeolokun on the opposite wing and Tiernan O’Halloran at full-back.
⚠️ TEAM NEWS ⚠️
The Connacht squad to face @UlsterRugby has been named!
❇️ First start of the season for Tom McCartney ☝️
❇️ @paul01boyle back in the starting XV 🙋♂️October 4, 2018
Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said that both sides have a challenge after a six-day turnaround from their respective interpros last weekend.
He said: “Both sides had tough games last weekend, us against Leinster and Ulster against Munster. Both sides will be trying to recover from the six-day turnaround and that is the challenge in these big games.
“This week involved reviewing the game last week and fine tuning things from last weekend so we are ready to go for Friday. It is great to have our captain Jarrad back and one or two other guys who were returning from small knocks. We are expecting a massive challenge from a real quality Ulster side”, he added.
Ulster's Rory Best and Jacob Stockdale will make their first appearances of the season for the province.
The pair have recovered from their respective injuries and Best will captain the side, joining Tom O’Toole and Andy Warwick in the front row. Alan O’Connor and Iain Henderson will continue their second-row partnership.
Marcell Coetzee has returned from a shoulder injury and will pack down at number 8, alongside Matthew Rea and Nick Timoney in the back row.
John Cooney and Billy Burns are retained in the half back positions, while Stuart McCloskey and Angus Curtis are paired together in midfield for the first time. Jacob Stockdale, Angus Kernohan and Peter Nelson will combine in the back three.
Here's your Ulster team to take on @connachtrugby tomorrow night at @KingspanStadium! Don't miss the first home interpro of the season, get your tickets now >>> https://t.co/70Xi5M4sQY pic.twitter.com/qYPBcZsqbm— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) October 4, 2018
Replacement lock Kieran Treadwell is set to make his 50th appearance for the Province and is joined on the bench by fellow forwards Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane and Sean Reidy.
Johnny McPhillips could make his first appearance of the season after being included among the replacements, while Dave Shanahan and James Hume, a debutant last week against Munster, complete the match day squad.
Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, (1-8) Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux, Sean O’Brien, Jarrad Butler (Capt), Paul Boyle.
Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, James Cannon, Colby Fainga’a, Caolin Blade, Kyle Godwin, Cian Kelleher
Ulster: Peter Nelson; Angus Kernohan, Angus Curtis, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney; Andrew Warwick, Rory Best (captain), Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson, Matthew Rea, Nick Timoney, Marcell Coetzee
Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Dave Shanahan, Johnny McPhillips, James Hume.
- Digital Desk