Ireland wing Craig Gilroy returns to a much-changed Ulster side for tomorrow’s re-arranged Championship Cup clash away to Oyonnax.
Back to fitness after a facial injury, Gilroy is one of eight changes from the side that lost to Munster last week. He finds himself at full back, replacing the injured Louis Ludik, with Sam Arnold making his first European start on the right wing as Andrew Trimble gets a well-earned break.
Ian Humphreys and Paul Marshall slot in at half-back for the rested Paddy Jackson and Ruan Pienaar.
Up front Nick Williams is given a breather with Roger Wilson slotting into the number 8 role and Lewis Stevenson continuing at lock as Alan O’Connor has not recovered from a knock picked up against Munster.
The other change up front see Ricky Lutton starting in place of the injured Wiehahn Herbst while the young, exciting Kyle McCall continues at loose-head.
McCall is the new kid on the block as far as the front-row is concerned. A squat, but ideally- shaped prop, McCall has a massive engine with a big tackle count and holding his own in the tight.
Injured in the early days of his career, McCall has just celebrated his 24th birthday and is now relishing a run of games in the top flight.
“I’m just loving it, playing week in, week out. I am really enjoying the type of rugby this team are playing, it’s just great,” said McCall who came from the same Wallace High School stable as Ireland flanker Chris Henry.
McCall has also been hugely impressed by life under new coach Les Kiss.
“Obviously I’m glad if the coaches are happy with what I’m doing, though I know there’s so much more work for me to do. December was a good month for us, trying to play Les Kiss’s type of rugby, and it’s been really enjoyable, but that’s all in the past now we’re all looking forward now.
“The loss to Munster was disappointing, but it hasn’t affected the mood in the squad, if anything we’ve worked and concentrated harder this week in training.”
Tomorrow is a return to France for the re-fixture of a game postponed following the horrific terrorist attacks in France last November.
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