It all kicks off as 19-year-old scrum-half, Nathan Doak, is set to make his first competitive start for Ulster when they take on Zebre at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi tomorrow afternoon (5.15 pm kick-off).
Doak, who scored his first senior try against Glasgow Warriors last Friday, has been named alongside Billy Burns at out-half. In the midfield, James Hume has been paired up with Stewart Moore. Ethan McIlroy makes a positional switch to the left-wing, with Craig Gilroy coming in to take up the right-wing position, and Will Addison named at full-back.
It’s all-change in the front row with Eric O’Sullivan and Tom O’Toole coming in to prop at either side of Rob Herring, who will be just one appearance away from the ‘200’ milestone when he takes the field tomorrow. Alan O’Connor will skipper the Ulster side and is partnered by Mick Kearney in the second row. Matty Rea is selected at blindside flanker, and Nick Timoney switches to openside, with David McCann named at Number Eight.
Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Marty Moore, Sam Carter and Sean Reidy are the forward options from the bench, and David Shanahan, Mike Lowry and Ben Moxham offer backline cover.
Ulster team to play Zebre Rugby, United Rugby Championship Round 2, Saturday 2 October at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, 5.15 pm (UK / Irish time) kick-off:
(15-9) Will Addison, Craig Gilroy, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, Nathan Doak;
(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor (Capt.), Mick Kearney, Matty Rea, Nick Timoney, David McCann.
Replacements: Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Sean Reidy, David Shanahan, Mike Lowry, Ben Moxham.
Players not considered due to injury or unavailability:
Jack McGrath, Iain Henderson, Luke Marshall, Cormac Izuchukwu, David O’Connor, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Stuart McCloskey, Robert Baloucoune, Kieran Treadwell, Ian Madigan, Jacob Stockdale.