Rob Herring will return from international duty to captain Ulster when they play Zebre at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm).
Head Coach, Dan McFarland, has made six changes to the starting XV that defeated the Cardiff Blues last Friday.
Four of the changes have been made to the back line. In the back three, Will Addison will assume the full back position while Rob Lyttle returns to join Louis Ludik on the wings. In the midfield, Matt Faddes comes in to partner Luke Marshall. There are also changes at half back, with Bill Johnston and David Shanahan partnering together for the first time.
Herring is the only change in the front row, joining Jack McGrath and Tom O’Toole who will start his fifth consecutive game at tighthead. The second row pairing remains the same as last week with Alan O’Connor and Kieran Treadwell starting. Matthew Rea – also starting his fifth game in a row – will line out on the blindside flank, with Nick Timoney returning to start at openside. Marcell Coetzee completes the back row at number eight.
In the replacements, Adam McBurney, Kyle McCall, Ross Kane, Sam Carter and Sean Reidy provide forward cover. John Cooney is set to make his 50 appearances milestone off the bench, and is joined by Angus Curtis and Craig Gilroy for the back line reinforcements.
Ulster team to play Zebre Rugby Club, Guinness PRO14 Round 5, Friday 1 November at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm):
(15-9) Will Addison, Louis Ludik, Matt Faddes, Luke Marshall, Rob Lyttle, Bill Johnston, David Shanahan.
(1-8) Jack McGrath, Rob Herring (Capt.), Tom O'Toole, Alan O'Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, Nick Timoney, Marcell Coetzee.
Replacements: Adam McBurney, Kyle McCall, Ross Kane, Sam Carter, Sean Reidy, John Cooney, Angus Curtis, Craig Gilroy.