Rugby Union

Ireland trio return as Ulster host Treviso in PRO12 showdown

Andrew Trimble returns to the Ulster line-up for tonight's meeting with Treviso
Andy Watters

Guinness PRO12: Ulster v Benetton Treviso (tonight, Kingspan Stadium, 7.35pm).

ULSTER are boosted by the return of Ireland backs Andrew Trimble, Craig Gilroy and Jared Payne for tonight’s crucial showdown with Benetton Treviso.

Coach Les Kiss will start Gilroy at full-back for the first time this season, while Trimble and Charles Piutau occupy the wing berths.

Payne, who featured off the bench in the 40-17 success against Zebre last Sunday, will wear the 13 jersey, with Stuart Olding alongside him in midfield. Pete Nelson and Ruan Pienaar will continue their successful half-back partnership for the fourth consecutive match.

South Africa back row Marcell Coetzee is also named in the starting XV and Rob Herring will again captain the side from hooker.

He will be joined in the front row by props Callum Black and Wiehahn Herbst while Kieran Treadwell and Franco van der Merwe will pack down in the second row and the loose forwards are Coetzee, Roger Wilson and Sean Reidy.

John Andrew, Andy Warwick and Ricky Lutton will provide back up for the front row, with Pete Browne and Clive Ross and named as the additional forward replacements. Paul Marshall, Luke Marshall and Jacob Stockdale will offer strong cover for the backline.

Meanwhile, Treviso coach Kieran Crowley has made one change to the side that lost 34-19 against Connacht last weekend.

ompared to the last game played against Connacht, there is only one change in the XV chosen by coach Kieran Crowley. Luca Sperandio comes in at full-back with Micheal Tagicakibau and Angelo Esposito on the wings.

Tommaso Iannone and Tommaso Allan will are right and left centre with Tito Tebaldi at scrum half and Ian McKinley fly half.

The front row will composed by Federico Zani, Luca Bigi and Tiziano Pasquali. Locks are Filo Paulo and captain Dean Budd. Finally the back row consists of Marco Lazzaroni, Francesco Minto and Robert Barbieri.

Ulster (1-8): C Black, R Herring (captain), W Herbst, K Treadwell, F van der Merwe, R Wilson, S Reidy, M Coetzee; (15-9): C Gilroy, A Trimble, J Payne, S Olding, C Piutau, P Nelson, R Pienaar

Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, A Warwick, R Lutton, P Browne, C Ross, P Marshall, L Marshall, J Stockdale

Friday (7.35pm): Connacht v Zebre, Edinburgh v Ospreys, Ulster v Treviso



Glasgow v Dragons (3pm), Cardiff v Munster (5.15pm), Leinster v Scarlets (7.35pm)

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