Jackson to start for Ulster

The Ulster team to face Edinburgh in Saturday's Heineken Cup semi-final (5.45pm) has been named with Paddy Jackson starting at outhalf.

The Ulster team to face Edinburgh in Saturday's Heineken Cup semi-final (5.45pm) has been named with Paddy Jackson starting at outhalf.

Chris Henry has been ruled out of tomorrow's clash after failing to recover from an ankle sprain picked up in the PRO12 match against Leinster last weekend.

Other injury concerns Paddy Wallace, Pedrie Wannenburg and Paul Marshall have all been passed fit, with the latter named among the replacements.

Forward trio Stephen Ferris, Dan Tuohy and Rory Best have all returned to the starting XV after being rested last weekend.

Ferris is a direct replacement for Henry, so Willie Faloon retains his position at openside flanker.

Nigel Brady drops to the bench for the return of Best, while Lewis Stevenson makes way for Tuohy.

After impressing last week in his first game in five months, Declan Fitzpatrick will start again at tighthead prop.

Brian McLaughlin has named an unchanged backline for Saturday's crucial game, meaning Paddy Jackson gets the nod over Ian Humphreys at outhalf.

The Ireland U20 captain produced an accomplished display at inside centre against Connacht two weeks ago, before controlling affairs in the number 10 jersey in the home defeat to Leinster.

McLaughlin admits some of his players are disappointed at missing out on selection for such an important game.

"Nobody wants to miss an occasion like this,” he said.

“These kind of games don't come around too often; it's been 13 years since we've had a game this big. It really wasn't easy selecting the squad this week.”

The Ulster coach knows Henry is a big loss but is happy to have someone with the experience of Faloon to call on.

"It's a huge blow for us. He (Henry) has probably been our most consistent player this season, probably over the past few seasons.

“I suppose we are fortunate in a way to have a player like Willie (Faloon) to come in. He is vastly experienced and will put everything into his performance on Saturday."

McLaughlin is confident that Paddy Jackson will also rise to the occasion having taken the number 10 jersey from Ian Humphries.

"Paddy has come in over the last few weeks and done exceptionally well. His performances have warranted selection.

“It’s a very tough call on Ian (Humphreys) who has been exceptional for us over the past couple of seasons, but we felt Paddy deserved a shot."

Ulster (v Edinburgh): S Terblanche; A Trimble, D Cave, P Wallace, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (capt), D Tuohy, S Ferris, W Faloon, P Wannenburg.

Replacements: N Brady, P McAllister, A Macklin, L Stevenson, R Diack, P Marshall, I Humphreys, A D'Arcy.

Unavailable due to injury: J Payne (achilles), S Danielli (hamstring), Tim Barker (back), Chris Henry (ankle).

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