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Ulster v Aironi: Teams
At Ravenhill, Friday March 30, kick-off 7.05pm
Ulster have made a number of changes to their line-up for Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 encounter with Aironi.
The Ravenhill outfit will be buoyed by the return of their international contingent, with Rory Best, Andrew Trimble and Stephen Ferris all coming into the side.
Lewis Stevenson and Pedrie Wannenburg also come into the starting XV, while Stefan Terblanche moves to full-back and Chris Henry switches to the openside flank.
"Whenever Rory, Andrew and Stevie come back into the squad in gives everyone a great fillip. They have such high standards and demand the same from the other players," said Ulster boss Brian McLaughlin.
"Lewis has been in very good form over the past couple of months. He was very good for us when he came off the bench in Treviso for the final 15 or 20 minutes so he deserves his chance. Everyone knows there are places up for grabs in every position and we have great competition throughout the squad. If players get chances they have to take them.
"With Stephen back in and Pedrie fit again, the back row is another area where we are particularly strong. It is harsh on Robbie Diack and Willie Faloon and other players who have been left out."
Aironi coach Rowland Phillips has tweaked his line-up following the loss to Glasgow Warriors.
Giovanbattista Venditti, Naas Olivier, Joshua Furno and Fabio Staibano coming into the line-up, while there are a handful of positional switches.
Giulio Toniolatti moves from the wing to full-back, with Tito Tebaldi restored to his favoured position at scrum-half. The inclusion of blindside flanker Furno sees Mauro Bergamasco start at No.8 and Nicola Cattina switch to the openside.
Ulster: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Dan Tuohy, 20 Willie Faloon, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Ian Whitten, 23 Adam D'Arcy.
Aironi: 15 Giulio Toniolatti, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Mauro Bergamasco, 7 Nicola Cattina, 6 Joshua Furno; 5 Carlo Del Fava (capt), 4 George Biagi, 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Antonio Denti, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Salvatore Perugini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Filippo Ferrarini, 21 Tyson Keats, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Gilberto Pavan.
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RaboDirect PRO12 Table
|Saturday 6th September|
|TBC||Munster vs Edinburgh|
|TBC||Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Glasgow vs Leinster|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Ulster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 13th September|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Munster|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Connacht|
|TBC||Ulster vs Zebre|
|TBC||Leinster vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 20th September|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ulster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Munster|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Edinburgh|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Connacht vs Leinster|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 27th September|
|TBC||Leinster vs Cardiff Blues|
|TBC||Munster vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Ulster|
|TBC||Glasgow vs Connacht|
|Saturday 4th October|
|TBC||Leinster vs Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com