Ulster make nine changes for Lions contest

Venue: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast Date: Friday, 17 November Kick-off: 19:35 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two NI, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website; live text commentary, report and highlights on the BBC Sport website

Ulster have made nine changes in personnel from the win over Munster for Friday’s United Rugby Championship game against the Lions.

Iain Henderson will captain the side as he is named in a much-changed pack after coming on in last weekend’s derby

Andy Warwick, Rob Herring and Scott Wilson form a totally altered front row as forwards Alan O’Connor, Dave Ewers and Reuben Crothers also come in.

Centre James Hume and fly-half Jake Flannery are drafted into the backs.

With Stewart Moore switching from centre to full-back after Ethan McIlroy sustained a facial fracture and concussion in last weekend’s game, Hume is drafted into midfield alongside Stuart McCloskey with Flannery taking over from Billy Burns at fly-half.

Burns is named on a bench which includes Marty Moore, who is in line to make his first appearance since sustaining a serious knee injury in last season’s New Year’s Day contest against Munster.

Ulster Academy prop Wilson is rewarded with a front-row start after impressing hugely following his introduction as a replacement last weekend.

Wilson’s selection along with Warwick and Ireland World Cup squad member Herring sees Eric O’Sullivan dropping to the bench, with Tom Stewart and Greg McGrath not included in Friday’s matchday squad.

Henderson and O’Connor take over from Cormac Izuchukwu and Kieran Treadwell in the lock roles with Ewers and Crothers replacing Marcus Rea and Nick Timoney in the back row.

Crothers’ debut against Connacht two weeks ago was ended prematurely by a knock.

David McCann is the only member of last weekend’s starting pack to hold on to his starting role as he switches from flanker to number eight while the replacements include backs John Cooney, Billy Burns and Michael Lowry.

The Lions make two changes from last weekend’s 24-23 win at Scarlets with Asenathi Ntlabakanye taking over from Ruan Dreyer in the front row and Willem Alberts replacing Ruan Delport at lock.

Ulster: Stewart Moore; Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Jake Flannery, Nathan Doak; Andy Warwick, Rob Herring, Scott Wilson; Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (capt); Dave Ewers, Reuben Crothers, David McCann.

Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Marty Moore, Harry Sheridan, Lorcan McLoughlin, John Cooney, Billy Burns, Michael Lowry.

Lions: Quan Horn; Richard Kriel, Henco van Wyk, Marius Louw (capt), Edwill van der Merwe; Sanele Nohamba, Morne van den Berg; Corne Fourie, PJ Botha, Asenathi Ntlabakanye; Ruben Schoeman, Willem Alberts; Hanru Sirgel, Emmanuel Tshituka, Francke Horn.

Replacements: Jaco Visagie, JP Smith, Ruan Smith, Ruan Delport, Ruan Venter, JC Pretorius, Jordan Hendrikse, Rabz Maxwane.