Ulster coach restores big names for Northampton test

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has added several senior players to his 27-man preliminary squad for their crucial Heineken Cup Pool 4 clash against Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens on Friday (8pm).

Ulster coach restores big names for Northampton test

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has added several senior players to his 27-man preliminary squad for their crucial Heineken Cup Pool 4 clash against Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens on Friday (8pm).

Ruan Pienaar, Chris Henry and Paddy Wallace all return to the squad as they prepare for the first two back-to-back encounters with the Saints.

Kiwi duo Jared Payne and Nick Williams are also named after being rested for Sunday’s trip to Scarlets.

Experienced hooker Nigel Brady, development prop Ricky Lutton and outside back Michael Allen come in to provide the Ulster management team with further options.

Stephen Ferris, Lewis Stevenson, Declan Fitzpatrick and Adam Macklin remain sidelined through injury.

Ulster go into the game with nine points from the opening two rounds of the competition, three more than their opponents.

A win on Friday would give them a very strong position before the return fixture at Ravenhill next week.

Ulster squad:

Forwards (16): Rob Herring, Rory Best, Nigel Brady, Ricky Lutton, Callum Black, Tom Court, John Afoa, Neil McComb, Johann Muller, Dan Tuohy, Iain Henderson, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Mike McComish, Roger Wilson, Nick Williams.

Backs (11): Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall, Paddy Jackson, Paddy Wallace, Luke Marshall, Darren Cave, Michael Allen, Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble, Craig Gilroy, Jared Payne.

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