All change for Ulster

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has once again made several changes to his starting XV for their RaboDirect PRO12 fixture against Aironi at Ravenhill (kick off 7.05pm).

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has once again made several changes to his starting XV for their RaboDirect PRO12 fixture against Aironi at Ravenhill (kick off 7.05pm).

Ulster welcome back Ireland trio Rory Best, Andrew Trimble and Stephen Ferris following their exploits with Ireland.

Lewis Stevenson's fine form in recent weeks has been rewarded with a starting place in the second row alongside captain Johann Muller. Dan Tuohy is named on the bench as a result.

Pedrie Wannenburg has recovered from the illness which ruled him out of last week's trip to Treviso so he will earn his 50th Ulster cap in front of the Ravenhill faithful.

The South African number 8 is joined in the back row by Ferris and Chris Henry, who moves from the blindside flank to openside.

The half back and centre partnerships remain unchanged as McLaughlin looks for a settled team ahead of the Heineken Cup quarter final against Munster on Easter Sunday.

The return of Trimble means Craig Gilroy switches to the left wing and Stefan Terblanche moves to fullback at the expense of Adam D'Arcy.

McLaughlin is delighted to have his Ireland starters back and available for Ulster's run in.

"Whenever Rory, Andrew and Stevie come back into the squad in gives everyone a great fillip. They have such high standards and demand the same from the other players."

McLaughlin believes Lewis Stevenson has earned his chance to make an impression for the starting team.

"Lewis has been in very good form over the past couple of months. He was very good for us when he came off the bench in Treviso for the final 15 or 20 minutes so he deserves his chance.

“Everyone knows there are places up for grabs in every position and we have great competition throughout the squad. If players get chances they have to take them."

Further emphasising his point, he continued: "With Stephen back in and Pedrie fit again, the back row is another area where we are particularly strong. It is harsh on Robbie Diack and Willie Faloon and other players who have been left out."

Ulster (v Aironi): S Terblanche; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, P Wallace, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (capt), L Stevenson, S Ferris, C Henry, P Wannenburg.

Replacements: N Brady, P McAllister, A Macklin, D Tuohy, W Faloon, P Marshall, I Whitten, A D'Arcy

Unavailable due to injury: J Payne (achilles), S Danielli (hamstring), Mike McComish (concussion), Tim Barker (back)

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