Ulster make changes for Scarlets semi as John Afoa misses out

Paddy Jackson


Ravenhill, Belfast
Friday, 10 May
19:45 BST
Live on BBC2 NI from 19:30 BST and on the BBC Sport website

Ulster have made four changes to their team for Friday's Pro12 semi-final against the Scarlets at Ravenhill.

Kiwi prop John Afoa is ruled out with a hamstring injury sustained in the win over Cardiff last week and is replaced by Declan Fitzpatrick in the front row.

Irish internationals Paddy Jackson, Tom Court and Dan Tuohy are recalled.

Jackson's inclusion allows Ruan Pienaar to switch to scrum-half with Paul Marshall, Iain Henderson, Callum Black and Afoa the players to drop out.

Scarlets are sweating on the fitness of Wales and Lions winger George North, who took a blow to the chest in the shock defeat to Treviso last week.

He went off reporting breathing difficulties after the game.

Fly-half Rhys Priestland is in a position to make his first start since recovering from major surgery.

He has played just 52 minutes of rugby since recovering from a Achilles tendon injury before Christmas.

Ulster qualified for the play-offs as number one seeds but coach Mark Anscombe insists they cannot afford to think ahead to a possible Pro12 final appearance at the RDS.

"Before we start thinking about trophies and cabinets, we've got to think about the Scarlets," he stated.

"We want to be firstly playing for it (trophy) and we can't play for it unless we win on Friday."

Ulster: J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, S Olding, T Bowe, P Jackson, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller, D Tuohy, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams

Replacements: R Herring, C Black, R Lutton, I Henderson, M McComish, P Marshall, M Allen, P Nelson.



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