Pienaar’s return huge Ulster boost

Springbok Ruan Pienaar is back and primed to help guide Ulster through their difficult Heineken Cup quarter-final shoot-out with Saracens at Ravenhill tomorrow (6.30pm).

The World-Cup winner returns at scrum-half after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury. He partners Ireland’s Paddy Jackson at half-back in a team that can boost 13 full internationals. However, there is no place for Stephen Ferris, who has had only three run-outs since a 16-month lay-off, but he will guarantee ~Ulster a bit of bish-bash from the bench.

Full-back Jared Payne is the only non-international in the backline, a moot point once he qualified for Ireland next September, Tommy Bowe and Andrew Trimble on the wings with Luke Marshall and Darren Cave filling the midfield.

Up front, Nick Williams is the only non-cap forward at number eight as he binds in between Roger Wilson and Chris Henry, while skipper Johann Muller again leads Ulster from the engine room alongside Ireland’s Dan Tuohy.

The departing Tom Court, starts at loose-head, alongside Ireland hero Rory Best and World Cup winning All Black tight-head, John Afoa, who is departing to play for Gloucester next season.

Ferris is joined by three other Ireland internationals on the bench with Iain Henderson, Craig Gilroy and Paul Marshall.

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