andrew trimble ulster

Andrew Trimble will miss the match due to injury

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has named his starting XV to face Newport Gwent Dragons in their decisive Magners League clash on Friday night (KO 7.05pm).

Props Tom Court and Declan Fitzpatrick have returned to full fitness and will pack down alongside skipper Rory Best in the front row. Their return to action sees Paddy McAllister and Jerry Cronin named among the replacements.

Willie Faloon suffered a shoulder injury in training and is unavailable for selection so Robbie Diack is promoted from the bench to play number 8. As a result, Pedrie Wannenburg moves to blindside flanker and Chris Henry switches to the openside flank.

TJ Anderson, who will join Connacht in the summer, is given a position on the bench as back row cover. The backline is unchanged from the win over Connacht at Ravenhill two weeks ago, with Darren Cave and Nevin Spence continuing their centre partnership.

Ireland internationals Stephen Ferris (knee), Paddy Wallace (thumb) and Andrew Trimble (thumb) remain unavailable for selection due to injury, as does BJ Botha (knee).

All six final round Magners League games will kick off at same time so there are many permutations for the play-offs; only Munster are certain of a home semi final on the weekend of 13/14th May. Ulster require only a losing bonus point against the Dragons to ensure progression to the knock out stages.

However a win for the Ulstermen, coupled with a Leinster defeat against Glasgow, would secure a home semi final spot.

Ulster starting XV:
A D’Arcy
C Gilroy
D Cave
N Spence
S Danielli
I Humphreys
R Pienaar
T Court
R Best (capt)
D Fitzpatrick
J Muller
D Tuohy
P Wannenburg
C Henry
R Diack

A Kyriacou
P McAllister
J Cronin
T Barker
T Anderson
P Marshall
I Whitten
C Gaston