SUMMER SIGNINGS Billy Burns, Henry Speight and Will Addison will make their Ulster debuts in tomorrow’s Guinness Pro14 opener against Scarlets at Kingspan Stadium [KO 5.15pm, eir Sport/Premier Sports/S4C].
New out-half Burns, who joined from Gloucester, will begin the task of replacing Paddy Jackson in Belfast tomorrow, with John Cooney partnering him in the halfbacks.
Will Addison will make his Ulster debut at fullback. Source: Matthew Bunn/INPHO
Former Sale Sharks club captain Will Addison, who is Irish-qualified and has already been in Ireland camp, starts at fullback as the Dan McFarland era gets underway.
Experienced Wallaby Speight, who has joined on a short-term deal from the Brumbies, is on the left wing in a backline that also includes Ireland internationals Craig Gilroy, Darren Cave and Stuart McCloskey.
McFarland’s starting pack for the visit of the Scarlets includes recent academy graduate Tom O’Toole at tighthead in a front row completed by Andrew Warwick and John Andrew.
Ireland international Iain Henderson will be an important figure from the second row, where he lines up alongside captain Alan O’Connor.
The back row sees the return to competitive action of Springboks back row Marcell Coetzee, who has endured two miserable seasons of knee injuries. Openside Sean Reidy and number eight Nick Timoney complete the back row.
Ulster academy loosehead Eric O’Sullivan and sub-academy wing Angus Kernohan are in line for their debuts off the bench.
The northern province confirmed that new tighthead Marty Moore [calf] and Kyle McCall [elbow] both picked up injuries in training and were unavailable for selection.
Meanwhile, Wayne Pivac has named a strong Scarlets team including Wales internationals Jonathan Davies, Rhys Patchell, Ken Owens and James Davies, as well as new signings Clayton Blommetjies, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Blade Thomson.