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Ulster return for Addison as Henderson passed fit for Connacht visit

The name of Will Addison appears on an Ulster team sheet for the first time in 15-months for Frid...



The name of Will Addison appears on an Ulster team sheet for the first time in 15-months for Friday night's Rainbow Cup opener with Connacht. 

The versatile back has been included among the replacements for the game at Kingspan Stadium.

Addison has not played since January 2020, having initially been ruled out of action with a long-running back injury. The Ireland international has also had to plough through a calf problem en route back to Dan McFarland's team.

Iain Henderson also makes his Ulster comeback, having sustained a shoulder injury during Ireland's Six Nations victory over England in March. He's been named in the second row alongside Kieran Treadwell.

Connacht head coach Andy Friend has made three changes to the starting XV beaten by Leicester Tigers in the European Challenge Cup earlier this month.

Caolin Blade replaces Kieran Marmion at scrum-half, while Ben O'Donnell comes in for Alex Wootton on the wing.

The other change is at loosehead where Jordan Duggan replaces Denis Buckley.

"There is still huge disappointment with our Challenge Cup exit and our last few performances," Friend said, "So this is a game where I’m fully expecting a reaction from the players.

"This is a new competition for us but as with competition we play in, we’re going out to win it.

"Our team selection reflects that and if we play the way I know we can, we’ll give ourselves a great chance of making a positive start to the Rainbow Cup.”

Ulster XV: 15. Jacob Stockdale, 14. Robert Baloucoune, 13. James Hume, 12. Stewart Moore, 11. Ethan McIlroy, 10. Billy Burns, 9. John Cooney;

1. Andrew Warwick, 2. Rob Herring, 3. Tom O’Toole, 4. Kieran Treadwell, 5. Iain Henderson (Capt.), 6. Matty Rea, 7. Sean Reidy, 8. Nick Timoney.

Replacements: 16. John Andrew, 17. Eric O’Sullivan, 18. Ross Kane, 19. Alan O’Connor, 20. Greg Jones, 21. David Shanahan, 22. Michael Lowry, 23. Will Addison.

Connacht XV: 15. John Porch, 14. Ben O'Donnell, 13. Sean O'Brien, 12. Tom Daly, 11. Matt Healy, 10. Jack Carty, 9. Caolin Blade;

1. Jordan Duggan, 2. Dave Heffernan, 3. Finlay Bealham, 4. Ultan Dillane, 5. Gavin Thornbury, 6. Eoghan Masterson, 7. Conor Oliver, 8. Paul Boyle (capt.)

Replacements: 16. Shane Delahunt, 17. Matthew Burke, 18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 19. Niall Murray, 20. Abraham Papali'i, 21. Kieran Marmion, 22. Conor Fitzgerland, 23. Peter Sullivan.

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Abraham Papali'i Andy Friend Caolin Blade Connacht Dan Mcfarland Iain Henderson Jack Carty Rainbow Cup Ulster Will Addison

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