Joyce included in provisional Ulster squad to face Treviso

Ulster Rugby management have included young academy back row Conor Joyce in the 24-man provisional squad ahead of Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 game against Treviso (6.05pm Irish time).

Joyce included in provisional Ulster squad to face Treviso

Ulster Rugby management have included young academy back row Conor Joyce in the 24-man provisional squad ahead of Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 game against Treviso (6.05pm Irish time).

The Malone clubman made one previous appearance in the St Stephen’s Day defeat to Leinster in 2011.

It is the province’s second game in Italy in a week, following the narrow 25-27 win over Zebre on Sunday.

Ireland squad members Declan Fitzpatrick and Tom Court have remained in Italy after being released for the Zebre game and will compete with John Afoa and Callum Black for selection in the front row.

Treviso have slipped to four straight defeats in all competitions since their 27-22 victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield on October 5. The Italian outfit have lost their last seven encounters with Irish provinces.

Ulster have won their last five away games and have never lost in nine previous visits to Italy in all competitions.

The two sides have met on eight previous occasions with Ulster’s only defeat being 23-12 at Ravenhill in October 2011.

Ulster provisional squad:

Forwards (14): Rob Herring, Nigel Brady, Callum Black, Declan Fitzpatrick, Tom Court, John Afoa, Neil McComb, James Simpson, Robbie Diack, Conor Joyce, Mike McComish, Ali Birch, Roger Wilson, Nick Williams.

Backs (10): Michael Heaney, Blane McIlroy, Niall O’Connor, Stuart Olding, Paddy Wallace, Jared Payne, Michael Allen, Chris Cochrane, Ricky Andrew, Peter Nelson.

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