Rabo Direct Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

RaboDirect Pro12: Ulster v Dragons

Venue:
Ravenhill
Date:
Friday, 10 February
Kick-off:
1905 GMT
Coverage:
Live on BBC2 NI

Ulster are hopeful that Paddy Wallace and Dan Tuohy will be available to face the Dragons and both players have been named in the side for the Pro12 game.

Wallace and Tuohy are set to be released from the Ireland squad.

Centre Ashley Smith returns to captain the Dragons, who have made a number of changes to the side that lost to Ospreys a fortnight ago.

Locks Adam Jones and Rob Sidoli are back, and Gavin Thomas is fit after injury to play at number eight.

Ulster Captain Johann Muller suffered a calf injury on the team run on Wednesday and has been left out as a precaution.

Lewis Stevenson partners Tuohy at lock while fit-again Paddy McAllister and winger Simon Danielli are replacements.

Danielli has been released from Scotland duty, while McAllister has recovered from injury.

Flanker Chris Henry is not named in the matchday 22 so he appears to have been retained in the Ireland squad.

John Afoa skippers the team in the absence of Muller and he is joined in the front row by Andi Kyriacou and Callum Black, who makes his second start.

Andrew Trimble, Rory Best, Stephen Ferris and Tom Court are all unavailable because of Ireland duties.

Pedrie Wannenburg has a foot injury and Darren Cave and Declan Fitzpatrick remain sidelined.

Ulster have won three of their last four matches in the PRO12, while their only defeat at Ravenhill in their last 16 games was 12-23 to Treviso in October.

Ulster have not lost at home to a Welsh region since the Dragons overcame the Irish province in April 2010.

Dragons are in the midst of their worst ever away run in the competition, with 10 straight losses on the road.

The Welsh side won 22-9 when the two sides met at Rodney Parade in round five but have not achieved a season's double over the Ulstermen since 2008-09.

The Dragons' only win in Ireland since 2004 was 16-14 over Ulster at Ravenhill on 19 September 2008.

TEAM DETAILS

Ulster: Adam D'Arcy; Craig Gilroy, Ian Whitten, Paddy Wallace, Stefan Terblanche; Ian Humphreys, Ruan Pienaar; Callum Black, Andi Kyriacou, John Afoa (capt); Lewis Stevenson, Dan Tuohy; Michael McComish, Willie Faloon, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Nigel Brady, Paddy McAllister, Adam Macklin, Tim Barker, Ali Birch, Paul Marshall, Nevin Spence, Simon Danielli.

Newport Gwent Dragons: Martyn Thomas; Jamie Smith, Adam Hughes, Ashley Smith (capt), Aled Brew; Jason Tovey, Wayne Evans; Nathan Williams, Steve Jones, Nathan Buck, Adam Jones, Rob Sidoli, Jevon Groves, Darren Waters, Gavin Thomas.

Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Phil Price, Dan Way, Hugo Ellis, Tom Brown, Joe Bedford, Andy Tuilagi, Lewis Robling.

Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)

Assistant Referees: Paul Haycock, David Keane (both IRFU)

Citing Commissioner: Denis Templeton (IRFU)

TMO: Peter Ferguson (IRFU)

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