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Heineken Cup preview: Ulster v Leicester Tigers

By Sam Drury - Follow on Twitter   Last updated: 11th October 2013  

British and Irish Lions  Geoff Parling

Geoff Parling: Is back in the second row for Leicester for their trip to Ulster on Friday

 Tommy Bowe Ulster

Tommy Bowe: Returns for Ulster after missing last week's win over Ospreys with a dead leg

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Leicester Tigers travel to Ravenhill to face Ulster as both sides look to get their Heineken Cup campaigns off to a winning start on Friday.

Both teams have had decent starts to the season with Ulster lying in fourth in the RaboDirect Pro12 with three wins from their opening five fixtures. Meanwhile, the Tigers are third in the Aviva Premiership following three wins and last weekend's last-gasp draw against Northampton.

The two sides have also achieved success in the tournament with Leicester winning back-to-back crowns in 2001 and 2002 whilst Ulster were victorious in 1999.

In more recent times, the Irish outfit made the final in 2012, only to be comprehensively beaten by Leinster at Twickenham.

Leicester too have reached the final in the not too distant past; they were beaten by Wasps in 2007 and edged out by Leinster at Murrayfield in 2009.


Ulster welcome back Tommy Bowe on the wing, after he recovered from a dead leg that ruled him out of their victory over Ospreys last time out. Craig Gilroy is missing with an ankle injury so Jared Payne switches to full-back.

Darren Cave is brought in at outside centre whilst Roger Wilson starts at blindside with Robbie Diack dropping to the bench.

The visitors also make three changes to their starting XV with winger Miles Benjamin picked to make his debut for the Tigers.

The other alterations see Dan Bowen in at centre and Geoff Parling return at second row. The trio replace Blaine Scully, Anthony Allen and Graham Kitchener, with the latter on the bench.

There is also a first call-up to the matchday squad for former Waratahs centre Terrence Hepetema who is named among the replacements.

Ulster Rugby: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall; 1 Tom Court, 2 Rory Best, 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 4 Johann Muller (c), 5 Dan Tuohy, 6 Roger Wilson, 7 Chris Henry, 8 Nick Williams.

Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Stuart Olding, 23 Michael Allen.

Leicester: 15 Niall Morris, 14 Miles Benjamin, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (c), 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Tom Youngs, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Louis Deacon, 5 Geoff Parling, 6 Ed Slater, 7 Julian Salvi, 8 Jordan Crane.

Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 David Mele, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Terrence Hepetema.

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