Ulster make eight changes for Pro12 match against Scarlets

Michael Allen has made an impressive start to the season for Ulster
Michael Allen has made an impressive start to the season for Ulster

Ulster's squad depth will be tested in Saturday's Pro12 match against the Scarlets with eight changes announced to the starting team.

Eight players are on international duty but Andrew Trimble and Roger Wilson have been released by Ireland and will start for Ulster in Parc y Scarlets.

Johann Muller misses out through injury so Jared Payne captains the team for the first time in a competitive match.

Chris Farrell comes in to midfield and Ruan Pienaar starts at out-half.

Payne starts at full-back as Stuart Olding is unavailable after suffering concussion in the win over Cardiff Blues last week.

Darren Cave joins Farrell in the centre with Michael Allen replacing Tommy Bowe on the wing.

With Pienaar switching to out-half in the absence of Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall starts at scrum-half.

In the front row, the only change sees Rob Herring start in place of Rory Best at hooker.

Lewis Stevenson and Neil McComb make up a whole new second row while in the back row, Roger Wilson moves from the back of the scrum to openside and Nick Williams returns at number eight.

Michael Allen, who is Ulster's top try-scorer this season with three tries, is determined to seize his opportunity.

"I'm going to try and get as many games as I can - and not just when the internationals are away," he said.

"I don't want to be playing because of injuries either. I want my form to dictate the selection rather than the personnel."

Ulster: J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, C Farrell, M Allen, R Pienaar, P Marshall; C Black, R Herring, J Afoa, L Stevenson, N McComb, R Diack, R Wilson, N Williams

Replacements: N Annett, K McCall, R Lutton, M McComish, S Doyle, J McKinney, R Andrew, D McIlwaine