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Ulster

  • Cave,
    Penalty goals: Pienaar,
    Conversions: Pienaar,
10 - 7

Ospreys

  • Lewis,
    Conversions: Davies,
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 7th Feb 2014
  • KO 19:35
  • Ground: Ravenhill, Belfast
  • Att: 11,258

RaboDirect Pro12: Ulster v Ospreys preview

Last updated: 6th February 2014  

Ospreys player Joe Bearman runs into Leinster players Sean O Brien r and Gordon D Arcy

Joe Bearman: No 8 role for Ospreys

Ulster Leinster Darren Cave

Darren Cave: Ulster centre partners Jared Payne in midfield

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Darren Cave will start at inside centre for Ulster in the RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Ospreys at Ravenhill on Friday.

Cave played at No 12 for the Irish Wolfhounds in their recent victory over England Saxons and will be partnered in midfield by Jared Payne, who switches from full-back to outside centre as the sides return to RaboDirect Pro action for the first time since early January with third place in the table at stake.

In the back three, Ricky Andrew starts at full-back, Craig Gilroy, who also represented the Wolfhounds, is selected on the left wing and Michael Allen returns to the starting XV on the right.

With Paddy Jackson on international duty, James McKinney is named at fly-half where he will start alongside Ruan Pienaar, who is selected at scrum-half.

In the pack, Tom Court joins Rob Herring, and John Afoa in the front row, Johann Muller partners Lewis Stevenson in the second row and Robbie Diack, Sean Doyle and Roger Wilson form the back row.

Iain Henderson and Luke Marshall have been released by Ireland and are named on the bench. Ireland U20s full-back, Rory Scholes, is also named as a substitute and is in line to make his league debut if called upon.

Changes

Ospreys boss Steve Tandy has made changes to his side. In the back-line, there are four changes to the side that beat Sale in the LV= Cup last weekend.

Sam Davies, who played at fly-half against Sale, takes over from Richard Fussell at full-back while Jeff Hassler and Ashley Beck replace Tom Grabham and Matthew Jenkins at right wing and inside centre respectively. Matthew Morgan comes in for Davies at fly-half.

Among the forwards, there are five changes with Joe Bearman and Sam Lewis replacing Dan Baker and Lloyd Evans in the back-row.

The other changes sees Perry Parker making his first start at lock at Rhodri Hughes' expense, while Aaron Jarvis and Duncan Jones are the starting props in place of Dan Suter and Nicky Smith.

"These next four weeks are massive for us in terms of how the rest of the season plays out, and beyond that, in regards to what we are trying to build here for the longer term, whatever the future holds for the Ospreys," said Tandy.

"The last couple of weeks in the LV= Cup have been a valuable experience for us in terms of getting some meaningful game time for some of the next generation of Ospreys, and there is a lot to be pleased about.

Difficult

"Ravenhill is always a very difficult place to go and play, whatever time of the season you go there, but even more so during the international period.

"They have a strong core that is available to them throughout the season, with some world class overseas players, and that allows them to stay strong during this period.

"It's an example of what can be achieved by union and club working together for the good of the game, certainly.

"We know that it's going to be a challenge for us but we are up for it and looking forward to getting this period of games started."

Ulster: 15 Andrew, 14 Gilroy, 13 Payne, 12 Cave, 11 Allen, 10 McKinney, 9 Pienaar; 1 Court, 2 Herring, 3 Afoa, 4 Muller (capt), 5 Stevenson, 6 Diack, 7 Doyle, 8 Wilson

Replacements: 16 Annett, 17 Black, 18 Lutton, 19 Henderson, 20 Williams, 21 P Marshall, 22 L Marshall, 23 Scholes

Ospreys: 15 Davies, 14 Hassler, 13 Spratt (capt), 12 Beck, 11 Natoga, 10 Morgan, 9 Habberfield; 1 Jones, 2 Baldwin, 3 Jarvis, 4 Peers, 5 Parker, 6 Ardron, 7 Lewis, 8 Bearman

Replacements: 16 Dwyer, 17 Bevington, 18 Suter, 19 Baker, 20 Allen, 21 Tebaldi, 22 Fussell, 23 Walker

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - January 11 2015
Pos Team P Pts
12 Zebre 13 10
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 13th February
Guinness PRO12
19:35Ulster vs Benetton Treviso
20:05Edinburgh vs Ospreys
Saturday 14th February
19:35Munster vs Cardiff Blues
Sunday 15th February
12:45Scarlets vs Connacht
13:00Zebre vs Glasgow
15:00Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 20th February
19:05Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Edinburgh vs Ulster
19:35Leinster vs Zebre
Saturday 21st February
14:40Scarlets vs Munster
17:15Glasgow vs Ospreys
Sunday 22nd February
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht
Friday 27th February
19:35Ospreys vs Leinster
19:35Ulster vs Scarlets
Saturday 28th February
19:15Munster vs Glasgow
Sunday 1st March
12:45Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh
17:00Zebre vs Newport Gwent D'gons
17:15Connacht vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 6th March
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Connacht
19:35Glasgow vs Zebre
Saturday 7th March
14:40Ospreys vs Munster
17:15Scarlets vs Leinster
18:00Benetton Treviso vs Edinburgh
Sunday 8th March
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ulster
Friday 27th March
19:35Leinster vs Glasgow

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