Ulster face Scarlets this Sunday evening as they attempt to go top of Conference A in their Guinness PRO14 campaign.
The Ulstermen head into the clash in great form, having just dispatched Zebre 57-14 last weekend.
⚪️— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) November 21, 2020
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Flanker Marcell Coatzee comes into this weekend’s fixture in flying form, having bagged himself a first-half hattrick against Zebre. South African native Coatzee (29) grabbed a fourth in the second-half as Dan McFarland’s team ran rampant.
Head Coach McFarland has made six changes to the side that beat Zebre last week. John Cooney comes in at scrum-half, while Stewart Moore starts with Luke Marshall in midfield.
Eric O’Sullivan, Marty Moore and John Andrew retain their places among the front row. Sean Reidy comes into the team at openside, while star man Coatzee starts at number eight.
Alan O’Connor will lead out the pack as captain, partnering Kieran Treadwell in the second row. Tom O’Toole returns from injury and is named among the substitutes.
Scarlets have made two changes to their side for Round Seven of the PRO14 campaign. Angus O’Brien starts in a back three alongside Ryan Conbeer and Steff Evans. Danny Drake comes into the second row for his first start, replacing Morgan Jones who is currently self-isolating.
Steff Hughes captains the side in an unchanged midfield, while Dan Jones and Dane Blacker start at half back.
There are a couple of changes to the replacements, as Jac Price and Sam Costelow come into the matchday squad.
Ken Owens (shoulder), Lewis Rawlins (neck) and Josh MacLeod (hamstring) remain ruled out for this fixture due to injury.
“We know what talent we have got in the side and the reason everyone is involved at this level is that you want to play against the best,” Scarlets forwards coach Richard Kelly said, “It’s an exciting couple of weeks for us.”
Ulster v Scarlets – KO 19:35
Kingspan Stadium, Belfast
Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR, 9th competition game:
Assistant Referees: Sean Gallagher, Chris Busby (both IRFU)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)
Live on eir Sport 1, Premier Sports 1, Super Sport Rugby, ESPN+ (USA), pro14.tv.
Deferred: S4C 22:00 Monday
Ulster: Michael Lowry, Matt Faddes, Luke Marshall, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle, Bill Johnston, John Cooney; Eric O’Sullivan, John Andrew, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor (Capt.), Kieran Treadwell, Matty Rea, Sean Reidy, Marcell Coetzee.
Replacements: Adam McBurney, Kyle McCall, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, Jordi Murphy, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Craig Gilroy.
Scarlets: Angus O’Brien; Ryan Conbeer, Steff Hughes (CAPT), Paul Asquith, Steff Evans; Dan Jones, Dane Blacker; Rob Evans, Taylor Davies, Javan Sebastian, Sam Lousi, Danny Drake, Ed Kennedy, Jac Morgan, Sione Kalamafoni
Replacements: Daf Hughes, Phil Price, Werner Kruger, Jac Price, Uzair Cassiem, Will Homer, Sam Costelow, Tyler Morgan.
Scarlets forwards coach Richard Kelly said: “Last week’s win against Connacht and the intent we showed in that game set us up for a good week and there has been a good vibe in the camp. We now have two of the best sides in the competition (Ulster and Leinster) in the next two weeks but we are looking at that as an exciting opportunity. We know what talent we have got in the side and the reason everyone is involved at this level is that you want to play against the best. It’s an exciting couple of weeks for us. You look at Ulster’s performances over the last six weeks there are threats all around the field. It’s something we have been positive about this week, going there and really challenging ourselves.”