Balacoune To Make Champions Cup Debut Against Racing ’92

Written 4 days ago by Midlands Sport


Robert Baloucoune will make his Heineken Champions Cup debut on Saturday after being named in the starting team for the critical game against Racing 92  at the Kingspan Stadium, tomorrow (3.15pm).

Baloucoune is joined in the back three by Louis Ludik and Jacob Stockdale, who will earn his 50th Ulster cap. Stockdale is competition’s joint-top try-scorer (four) and is the only player to have scored in every round so far.

Stuart McCloskey and Will Addison are re-united in midfield, with John Cooney and Billy Burns named at scrumhalf and flyhalf respectively. Burns currently leads the way for assists in the Champions Cup (four).

Rory Best returns to captain the side from hooker and will pack down beside Marty Moore and Abbey Insurance Academy prop Eric O’Sullivan.

Alan O’Connor, one of just two players retained from the team that lost to Leinster last weekend, partners Kieran Treadwell in the second row.

Sean Reidy, the other player who was involved at the RDS, will line out alongside Jordi Murphy and Marcell Coetzee in the back row.

Rob Herring, Andy Warwick, Ross Kane, Ian Nagle and Nick Timoney are the forward replacements, while Dave Shanahan, Michael Lowry and Darren Cave are the backline reinforcements.

Ulster team:
(15-9): L Ludik; R Baloucoune, W Addison, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; B Burns, J Cooney;
(1-8): E O’Sullivan, R Best (captain), M Moore, A O’Connor, K Treadwell, S Reidy, J Murphy, M Coetzee;
Replacements (16-23): R Herring, A Warwick, R Kane, I Nagle, N Timoney, D Shanahan, M Lowry, D Cave.