Bowe returns against Dragons

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Bowe returns against Dragons

Bowe came through a tough training session earlier this week and his willingness to get some action following his groin injury which had sidelined him since November, sees him named on the right wing.

With Paddy Jackson and Iain Henderson released by Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, Ulster start against the in-form Welsh team with a reasonably strong side. Luke Marshall and Darren Cave continue their midfield partnership while Academy star Rory Scholes gets his first start on the left wing. Up front, Callum Black is ready step into the role that will be vacated when Ireland tight-head Tom Court moves to London Irish next year.

Born in America but eligible to play for Ireland through his Belfast-born grandfather, the 28-year-old has had his best season since moving to Ulster from Worcester Warriors at the start of the 2011 season. He knows Ulster will have to step up a few gears from the dismal performance in the nervous 14-12 win over Treviso last week.

“It was a frustrating game in Italy,” explained Black. “You knew they would come hard at us after their big loss against the Ospreys the week before and they did. They really took us on and there were a few bad decisions and a bit of ill discipline which allowed them to get into the game.”

Ulster are presently unbeaten this year, and lie in third place, 10 points behind with a game in hand over second-placed Leinster.

ULSTER: J Payne; T Bowe, D Cave, L Marshall, R Scholes; P Jackson, R Pienaar; C Black, R Herring, R Lutton, J Muller (capt), I Henderson, R Diack, S Doyle, R Wilson.

Replacements: N Annett, T Court, A Macklin, L Stevenson, M McComish, P Marshall, S McCloskey, D McIlwaine.

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