Ferris to line out for Ulster

Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris will get a 40-minute run-out for Ulster in tomorrow’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash with Edinburgh to prove his fitness ahead of the upcoming autumn internationals.

Ferris has missed the last three games with a back complaint but the Ireland management has released him to the province for the Ravenhill clash.

Ulster, bidding to extend their eight-game unbeaten run this season, are without 14 players for the visit of the struggling Scottish side through injury or national involvement.

With fly-half Paddy Jackson being retained in Dublin, Springbok Ruan Pienaar, who looks certain to play for South Africa against Ireland on November 10, will start again at half-back with Paul Marshall at scrum-half.

With Johann Muller injured and Chris Henry almost certain to start against the Boks, coach Mark Anscombe is again looking for a new skipper. John Afoa and Nigel Brady both performed the task last season under former coach Brian McLaughlin. Meanwhile, Robbie Diack is back in contention for a back-row slot after he proved his fitness last weekend during a five-star showing for club side Malone. Michael McComish will operate at openside with Ferris, Diack and fit-again Roger Wilson vying for the other two places in the back-row.

ULSTER (v Edinburgh): Forwards: R Herring, N Brady, N Annett, C Black, R Lutton, A Macklin, J Afoa, L Stevenson, N McComb, M McComish, S Ferris, R Diack, A Birch, R Wilson, N Williams.

Backs: P Marshall, M Heaney, R Pienaar, N O’Connor, S Olding, P Wallace, M Allen, P Nelson, C Gilroy, C Cochrane, J Payne, R Andrew.

Unavailable for selection: R Best, T Bowe, T Court, D Cave, C Farrell, D Fitzpatrick, I Henderson, C Henry, P Jackson, L Marshall, P McAllister, J Muller, A Trimble, D Tuohy.

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