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Heineken Cup: Ulster travel to Castres in their bid to secure home quarter-final
Ulster will make six changes to the team that played Glasgow last week for their crucial game at Castres on Saturday.
In the pack lock Neil McCoomb replaces Iain Henderson and with the inspirational Nick Williams injured, Roger Wilson takes the number eight spot.
The Irish province feature a further four changes in the backline with Ruan Pienaar moving to fly-half in place of Paddy Jackson and Paul Marshall filling the vacant scrum-half berth. Injured Jared Payne's full-back slot is filled by Craig Gilroy with Michael Allen coming in on the wing.
Castres make eight changes to the team that faced Northampton last Friday. In the forwards the French side have completely replaced their backrow with Pedrie Wannenburg, Piula Faasalele and Mathieu Babillot taking over from Antoine Claasen, Yannick Caballero and Jannie Bowman.
In the second row Matthias Rolland comes in to partner Christophe Samson and hooker Marc-Antoine Rallier is the final change, replacing Mathieu Bonello.
In the back-line Pierre Bernard replaces Brice Dulin at full-back and Seremaia Bai comes in at outside-centre. Kiwi fly-half Daniel Kirkpatrick drops to the bench with Remi Tales taking his place.
This is Ulster's first trip to this region of France and Castres should make gaining a home quarter-final far from easy. The French team are out of the reckoning for qualification and will be trying to end the campaign strongly in front of the Stade Pierre-Antoine crowd.
Castres: 15 Pierre Bernard, 14 Max Evans, 13 Seremaia Bai 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 Rémi Tales, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Piula Faasalele, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Christophe Samson, 4 Matthias Rolland, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Saimone Taumoepeau, 18 Mihaďta Lazar, 19 Iosefa Tekori, 20 Thierry Lacrampe, 21 Jannie Bornman, 22 Paul Bonnefond, 23 Marc Andreu.
Ulster: 15 Craig Gilroy, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Michael Allen, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Chris Henry (c), 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Neil McComb, 4 Louis Stevenson, 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Calum Black, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Chris Cochrane.
What they said...
Ulster head coach Mank Anscombe
"We've put ourselves in a good position and we have to make sure we go there and don't relax thinking we've made the quarters.
"I think if we go there and don't perform next week it's a little bit of a setback. Yes we've ticked a box and qualified at the top of the pool, but we want a home quarter final, simple as that."
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|Saturday 24th January|
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|Wasps 20 - 20 Leinster|
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|Toulouse 18 - 35 Bath|
|Glasgow 21 - 10 Montpellier|
|Saturday 17th January|
|Harlequins 3 - 23 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 13 - 22 Clermont Auvergne|
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|Toulon 60 - 22 Ulster|
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Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com