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Ulster vs Ospreys- RaboDirect PRO12 Preview
Ireland Under-20s fly-half Stuart Olding will make his first start for Ulster against Ospreys in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Friday.
The 19-year-old has made three previous appearances off the bench for the Irish province.
Johann Muller has returned from injury to captain the side and will be partnered by Lewis Stevenson in the second row.
Prop Andrew Warwick is in line to make his senior debut after being named on the bench.
Callum Black will start at loosehead so Tom Court moves to the other side of the scrum with Rob Herring as hooker.
Mike McComish and Ali Birch get opportunities in the back-row alongside the dynamic Robbie Diack.
Olding is paired with Ruan Pienaar in the halves. Luke Marshall also returns from injury to link up with Paddy Wallace in the centres.
Ulster's team is completed by Andrew Trimble and Michael Allen on the wings, with Ricky Andrew at full-back.
Meanwhile, the Ospreys hand Ben John, Morgan Allen and Tom Habberfield their first league starts.
Ulster: 15 Ricky Andrew, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Michael Allen, 10 Stuart Olding, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Ali Birch, 6 Michael McComish, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 Tom Court, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Ricky Lutton, 18 Andrew Warwick, 19 Dan Tuohy, 20 Neil McComb, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Darren Cave, 23 Chris Cochrane.
Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tom Habberfield, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Ben John, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i (capt), 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Morgan Allen, 5 James King, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Lloyd Peers, 21 Arthur Ellis, 22 Ross Jones, 23 Jamie Murphy.
What they said...
Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy
"We've got a very big month ahead of us, with three very difficult away games in Ireland and a home game against Edinburgh in a couple of weeks," said head coach Steve Tandy.
"It's going to be a season defining period for us. We've bounced back well from the slow start we had to the season and when the PRO12 broke up at the start of last month we had managed to claw our way up into the top four. The challenge now is to stay there, and it won't be easy."
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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