Breaking: Ulster Team Named For Crucial European Clash With Clermont
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Rory Best and Paddy Jackson are included in Ulster’s starting XV for Saturday’s Champions Cup fixture against Pool 5 leaders ASM Clermont Auvergne.
The international pair are 2 of 4 changes to the team by Les Kiss, that claimed a bonus point 23-35 win over Cardiff Blues last weekend, with Robbie Diack and Louis Ludik also earning starting berths.
Best will captain the side from hooker and he will be joined in the front row by props Kyle McCall and Wiehahn Herbst. Diack and Pete Browne will partner up in the second-row with Iain Henderson, Chris Henry and Sean Reidy making up an all-international loose forward trio.
Jackson will partner Ruan Pienaar at half back, while Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall will continue in midfield. Ludik, who made a try-scoring return from injury in Cardiff, is named in a back three that also includes Tommy Bowe and Charles Piutau.
This will be the third fixture between the clubs after they met in the pool stage in 2011/12, when both matches were won by the home side. Ulster has won 7 of its last 8 home games against Top 14 opposition, with its only defeat in that run coming in Round 2 in 2014, against RC Toulon.
Ulster team and replacements to play ASM Clermont Auvergne:
(15-9): C Piutau, T Bowe, L Marshall, S McCloskey, L Ludik, P Jackson, R Pienaar;
(1-8): K McCall, R Best (capt), W Herbst, P Browne, R Diack, I Henderson, C Henry, S Reidy.
Replacements: (16-23): R Herring, A Warwick, R Ah You, K Treadwell, C Ross, P Marshall, D Cave, J Stockdale.