Louis Ludik replaces the injured Tommy Bowe at outside centre
European Champions Cup
Venue: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast Date: Friday, 15 December Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Radio Ulster medium wave

Louis Ludik and Chris Henry have been called into the Ulster starting team for Sunday’s Champions Cup Pool 1 game against Harlequins at Kingspan Stadium.

Henry replaces Sean Reidy after impressing off the bench in Sunday’s 17-5 win over ‘Quins at The Stoop.

Ludik plays at outside centre in place of hamstring injury victim Tommy Bowe.

Harlequins’ hopes of progression to the quarter-finals ended with defeat last weekend and the Premiership side make six changes for the trip to Belfast.

Prop Joe Marler sustained a knock in the match last Sunday and is replaced by Lewis Boyce, while in the back row, captain Dave Ward and Archie White come in while Chris Robshaw misses out with concussion.

CHAMPIONS CUP POOL 1
Team Played Won Lost For Against Bonus Pts Points
La Rochelle 3 3 0 124 73 3 15
Ulster 3 2 1 53 55 1 8
Wasps 3 1 2 79 78 2 6
Harlequins 3 0 3 42 92 1 1

Scrum-half Danny Care also suffered a concussion so Ian Prior starts in the number nine shirt, with Winston Stanley partnering Jamie Roberts in the centres.

Ross Chisholm is named at full-back as Alofa Alofa moves to the left wing. Mike Brown and Tim Visser drop to the replacements’ bench.

Iain Henderson captains Ulster, with Andrew Trimble among the replacements as the Irish province aim to boost their hopes of qualification for the last eight knockout stages.

Ulster lie second in their pool, having eight points from winning two and losing one of their first three fixtures.

Ireland captain Rory Best remains out with a foot infection and Luke Marshall is still missing because of an Achilles injury.

Back row Jean Deysel was not considered for this weekend’s game as he nears a comeback after injury but could feature in the Pro14 game against Connacht on 23 December.

Jono Gibbes says there is pressure on Ulster to beat Harlequins for the second time in a week

Ulster: C Piutau; C Gilroy, L Ludik, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; C Lealiifano, J Cooney; C Black, R Herring, W Herbst; A O’Connor, K Treadwell; I Henderson (capt), C Henry, N Timoney.

Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, R Kane, M Rea, S Reidy, P Marshall, P Nelson, A Trimble.

Harlequins: R Chisholm; C Walker, W Stanley, J Roberts, A Alofa; M Smith, I Prior; L Boyce, E Elia, K Sinckler; G Merrick, C Matthews; A White, D Ward (capt), R Bothma (capt).

Replacements: C Piper, M Lambert, P Swainston, M Luamanu, D Lamb, J Lang, T Visser, M Brown.


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