Friday 7 January – ULSTER v BENETTON TREVISO, At Ravenhill, 7.05pm.
TV: Live on BBC Sport NI
Referee: Leighton Hodges (WRU, 4th League game).
Ulster have lost their last two matches to Leinster and Munster and have not won at Ravenhill in the Magners League since Glasgow were the visitors on 1 October.
Benetton Treviso took both “legs” of the Italian derby with Aironi over the holiday season. Treviso have not won a game outside of Italy since a trip to the Dragons in the European Cup on 15 December 2007.
Ulster have won all five previous encounters with Treviso in all competitions.
Ulster have named their starting XV and replacements to play Treviso in the Magners League at Ravenhill this Friday night (ko 7.05pm).
In the back line, only Simon Danielli retains the same position he played in the New Year’s Day derby against Munster at Thomond Park. While Paddy Wallace moves from out-half to inside centre, elsewhere it’s all change as D’Arcy replaces Smith at full-back, Trimble, rested last week, features on the right-wing, Nevin Spence is recalled to partner Wallace in the centre and Humphreys and Pienaar form the half-back partnership.
Up front Tom Court, another player rested last week as part of the player management programme and BJ Botha start in the front row with captain Rory Best. Johann Muller returns to action partnered by Tim Barker who retains his place from last week while Chris Henry and Pedrie Wannenburg start ahead of TJ Anderson and Robbie Diack in the back row.
Stephen Ferris is the notable inclusion on the bench having recovered from a leg injury sustained in training ahead of the December game against Bath at The Rec.
Ulster, who defeated Treviso 9-19 in the away fixture at the end of November, will be looking to get their Magners League campaign back on track after defeats to Leinster and Munster over the festive period, particularly with important games in Europe ahead. Benetton Treviso won both legs of their festive derbies against Aironi over the holiday period.
Gates open at 5.30pm and tickets for the match will be available to purchase on the gates.
Ulster (15-9) Adam D’Arcy; Andrew Trimble, Nevin Spence, Paddy Wallace, Simon Danielli; Ian Humphreys, Ruan Pienaar (1-8) Tom Court, Rory Best (Captain), BJ Botha, Johann Muller, Tim Barker, Chris Henry, Willie Faloon, Pedrie Wannenburg
Replacements (16-23) Nigel Brady, Bryan Young, Declan Fitzpatrick, Dan Tuohy, Stephen Ferris, Paul Marshall, Ian Whitten, David McIlwaine
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