Ireland stars back for Ulster: Jacob Stockdale and Iain Henderson to face Cardiff Blues

Two of Ireland's three Grand Slam heroes will return to the Ulster side for Saturday's crunch Guinness PRO14 game against Cardiff Blues in Wales.

Friday, 23rd March 2018, 1:03 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd March 2018, 1:10 pm
Ireland international Jacob Stockdale and Iain Henderson will start for Ulster against Cardiff Blues

Six Nations player of the championship and record breaking try scorer Jacob Stockdale will start on the wing.

Versatile forward Henderson is named in the back row.

Ulster must win the games at the Arms Park in Cardiff if they are to keep their hopes of securing a play-off place in the PRO14 Championship and qualifying for next season's European Champions Cup.

There are four other new faces in the starting team from the last match versus Scarlets a month ago, with Rob Herring, Clive Ross, Craig Gilroy and Charles Piutau also included.

Herring will start at hooker in place of John Andrew, while props Andrew Warwick and Wiehahn Herbst will continue on either side of the front row.

The second row pairing of Kieran Treadwell and Alan O’Connor is unchanged, with the latter set to lead the side for a fourth consecutive match.

Henderson and Ross will be joined in the back row by number 8 Nick Timoney.

The half-back partnership of John Cooney and Johnny McPhillips remains in situ, as does the midfield combination of Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall.

Gilroy, Stockdale and Piutau will make up a potent back three.

Ulster: (15-9): C Piutau; C Gilroy, L Marshall, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; J McPhillips, J Cooney;

(1-8): A Warwick, R Herring, W Herbst, A O'Connor (Captain), K Treadwell, I Henderson, C Ross, N Timoney;

Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, C Black, R Kane, M Dalton, M Rea, D Shanahan, P Nelson, L Ludik.