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Ulster and Leicester Tigers make five changes for semi-final

By Sam Smith

Leicester have made five changes to their starting XV for Friday night’s European Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Ulster, boss Steve Borthwick opting to ramp things up following last weekend’s home league defeat against Northampton.


There is just one change in the pack, recent new England cap George Martin picked at blindside and Luke Wallace dropping out of the back row.

Behind the scrum there are four changes, Guy Porter for Kobus van Wyk, Matias Moroni for Dan Kelly, Nemani Nadolo for Murimurivalu and Richard Wigglesworth for Ben Youngs.

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Simon Zebo on why he’d returning to Munster.
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Simon Zebo on why he’d returning to Munster.

Borthwick said: “We have made a few changes, as competition for places in this squad intensifies. Ulster are a very good team, who finished their PRO14 season in second place on their conference table and come to Mattioli Woods Welford Road on the back of two impressive away wins in Europe against English sides.

“They began the season in the Champions Cup and have made no secret of wanting to achieve success in this competition. They have an experienced squad, including many current internationals, and have a top-quality coaching team, who have done a very good job with Ulster Rugby in the past few seasons together.”

Ulster have also changed five of their starters following last weekend’s home Rainbow Cup loss to Connacht. Eric O’Sullivan and Marty Moore are back at prop in place of Andrew Warwick and Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor is at second row for Kieran Treadwell, Jordi Murphy takes over from Sean Reidy in the back row while Stuart McCloskey is at midfield for Stewart Moore.


LEICESTER: 15. Freddie Steward; 14. Guy Porter, 13. Matias Moroni, 12. Matt Scott, 11. Nemani Nadolo; 10. George Ford, 9. Richard Wigglesworth; 1. Ellis Genge, 2. Tom Youngs (capt), 3. Dan Cole, 4. Harry Wells, 5. Calum Green, 6. George Martin, 7. Hanro Liebenberg, 8. Jasper Wiese. Reps: 16. Charlie Clare, 17. Luan de Bruin, 18. Joe Heyes, 19. Tomas Lavanini, 20. Cyle Brink, 21. Ben Youngs, 22. Zack Henry, 23. Kini Murimurivalu.

ULSTER: 15. Jacob Stockdale; 14. Rob Baloucoune, 13. James Hume, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. Ethan McIlroy; 10. Billy Burns, 9. John Cooney; 1. Eric O’Sullivan, 2. Rob Herring, 3. Marty Moore, 4. Alan O’Connor, 5. Iain Henderson (capt), 6. Matt Rea, 7. Jordi Murphy, 8. Nick Timoney. Reps: 16. John Andrew, 17. Andy Warwick, 18. Tom O’Toole, 19. Kieran Treadwell, 20. Sean Reidy, 21. Alby Mathewson, 22. Michael Lowry, 23. Will Addison.


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