Rory Best returns to captain Ulster against Toulouse

"It's a huge challenge for us, but the boys have shown great character and we'll step up to the plate."

Rory Best returns to captain Ulster against Toulouse

The Ulster team has been named for Friday's Champions Cup battle against Toulouse at Kingspan Stadium.

There is a new centre partnership with Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall combining in midfield.

Louis Ludik is named at full back, with Craig Gilroy recalled to the left wing and Andrew Trimble occupying the right.

Paddy Jackson starts at 10 with Ruan Pienaar alongside him in the half backs.

Rory Best returns to captain the side and will start in the front row alongside Wiehahn Herbst and Kyle McCall.

Alan O'Connor has been given the opportunity to start in the second row with the experienced Franco van der Merwe, while Robbie Diack, Chris Henry and Nick Williams will make up the loose forward trio.

Speaking ahead of the fixture, Ulster's Director of Rugby, Les Kiss, is well aware of the threat posed by Toulouse.

"They are predictably unpredictable," he said. "They have a massive squad that is full of internationals, so that gives them some really good options all over the park.

“They're second in the Top 14 so it's a huge challenge for us, but the boys have shown great character and we'll step up to the plate. Hopefully the conditions are good and the supporters will see a quality game of rugby."

Ulster v Toulouse, Champions Cup Pool 1, Kingspan Stadium, Friday December 11 - kick-off 7.45pm.

Ulster team: L Ludik, A Trimble, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar; K McCall, R Best - capt., W Herbst, A O'Connor, F van der Merwe, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams.

Replacements: R Herring, A Warwick, R Lutton, C Ross, R Wilson, P Marshall, I Humphreys, R Scholes.

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