Niall O’Connor gets the nod over Ian Humphreys and captain Rory Best returns at hooker to steer Ulster against Edinburgh for Sunday's Magner's League match at Murrayfield.
Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin said: “We are all very positive heading to face Edinburgh. We have played them quite a few times this season; the last time at Ravenhill we gained the points.
“The players are training hard, and working well together. Everyone knows what is expected of them. Yesterday the IRFU Defence Coach Les Kiss was up doing a lot of work with us, and our attack is solid.
“So it is just a matter of going out at Murrayfield on Sunday with the attitude that we can gain the victory.
Coach Rob Moffat has left Mike Blair out of his Edinburgh side.
On the face of it, it seems a strange decision given it is a must-win match for both clubs. Greig Laidlaw will start at scrum-half.
So, flanker Roddy Grant will wear the captain's armband this weekend after being recalled following an injury to Ross Rennie (hamstring) and Scotland centre Nick De Luca will make his first appearance since the Six Nations.
ULSTER (v Edinburgh): Jamie Smith, Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Ian Whitten, Simon Danielli, Niall O’Connor, Paul Marshall; Tom Court, Rory Best (Capt), BJ Botha, Ed O’Donoghue, Dan Tuohy, Stephen Ferris, Willie Faloon, Robbie Diack.
Replacements: Andy Kyriacou, Bryan Young, Ryan Caldwell, TJ Anderson, Isaac Boss, Ian Humphreys, Nevin Spence.
EDINBURGH (v Ulster): Ben Cairns, Tim Visser, Nick De Luca, John Houston, Mark Robertson, Phil Godman, Greig Laidlaw, Dave Callam, Roddy Grant (capt), Alan MacDonald, Jim Hamilton, Scott MacLeod, Geoff Cross, Ross Ford, Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Kyle Traynor, Fraser McKenzie, Scott Newlands, Mike Blair, Andrew Turnbull, Jim Thompson.