Ravenhill prepares for Wallace’s return

Published Thursday, 19 December 2013
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Paddy Wallace will play for Ulster for the first time in nine months in the Ravenhill side's RaboDirect PRO12 home game against Zebre on Friday.

Wallace, who has made a record 188 appearances for Ulster, suffered a knee injury in the game against Glasgow in February.

The centre returns to the senior team following two games for the Ulster Ravens in the British and Irish Cup.

Coach Mark Anscombe has made nine personnel changes and three positional switches to the side that beat Treviso last weekend.

Ricky Andrew starts at fullback with Jared Payne moving to outside centre.

Craig Gilroy switches flanks and starts on the left wing with Michael Allen coming in on the right.

Ruan Pienaar continues at scrumhalf with James McKinney starting at outhalf.

There is a whole new front row, with Callum Black replacing Tom Court at loosehead, Niall Annett selected at hooker and Ricky Lutton named at tighthead.

Captain Johann Muller is joined in the second row by Lewis Stevenson who has recovered from the medial ligament injury he picked up last month.

Robbie Diack moves to Number eight with Roger Wilson sustaining a mild ankle injury last weekend.

Sean Doyle keeps his place at openside and Mike McComish will play at blindside.

Adam Macklin is named as a replacement and is also in line to make his return to first team action having suffered an injury last season.

Declan Fitzpatrick was unavailable for selection as he is suffering from a virus while John Afoa is in New Zealand.

Paddy Wallace said: "I am so pumped up to play again at Ravenhill.

"So many people have supported me through a hard time such as the medical staff and the strength and conditioning coaches and I want to do their support justice."


Ulster team to face Zebre:

R Andrew, C Gilroy, J Payne, P Wallace, M Allen, J McKinney, R Pienaar, C Black, N Annett, R Lutton, J Muller (captain), L Stevenson, M McComish, S Doyle, R Diack.
Replacements: R Herring, T Court, A Macklin, N McComb, C Joyce, M Heaney, P Nelson, D McIlwaine.

© UTV News
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