Iain Henderson set for return to action with Ulster as Zebre come to Belfast

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Ulster v Zebre, Kingspan Stadium, Friday, 7.35pm – Live connected TG4, BBC 2 & Premier Sports 1

His imaginable availability having been flagged owed to being progressive successful Ireland’s November camp, Iain Henderson volition yet spot immoderate enactment connected Friday evening erstwhile Ulster instrumentality from the interruption to big bottommost squad Zebre.

The 30-year-old has been retired of committee since returning location aboriginal from past summer’s Ireland circuit to New Zealand and past played a crippled erstwhile Ulster narrowly mislaid past June’s URC semi-final astatine the Stormers.

Since flying backmost from New Zealand earlier the Ireland circuit had adjacent got up and running, Henderson has undergone genu and manus procedures and would person been backmost for Ulster earlier present but for an unspecified setback.

The Ireland fastener is connected the seat for Friday night’s lucifer and getting immoderate crippled clip into the nine skipper’s legs volition beryllium a precedence for Dan McFarland up of the present season-defining 10-match artifact facing the province, encompassing some the league and Europe, portion Andy Farrell volition besides beryllium an funny onlooker with a presumption to perchance involving Henderson successful the Six Nations and beyond.

Jacob Stockdale starts for Ulster connected Friday night. Photograph: Ben Brady/Inpho

With astir Ireland squad members rested, lone Henderson and the starting Jacob Stockdale are included from those who were successful nationalist camp, McFarland has inactive managed to prime a strong-looking broadside for Ulster’s archetypal crippled since the November Test interruption erstwhile the bluish state signed disconnected with a constrictive and uncommon triumph implicit Munster astatine Thomond Park.

Several lesser-known players who toured with Emerging Ireland person been fixed the motion with Jake Flannery being the astir notable inclusion arsenic helium makes his debut astatine outhalf, portion Callum Reid and Cormac Izuchukwu are besides successful the starting broadside for the archetypal clip successful this campaign.

As was the lawsuit against Munster, Stewart Moore is selected astatine fullback and Tom Stewart starts astatine hooker with Ethan McIlroy switching wings to accommodate Stockdale.

The hugely experienced Duane Vermeulen leads Ulster for the archetypal clip and volition person plentifulness of backup from Marty Moore, Luke Marshall, James Hume, Sam Carter, Stockdale and, of course, Henderson erstwhile helium is introduced.

Zebre, who person mislaid each 7 games played, person a sprinkling of Italy squad members backmost successful their squad, though this is improbable to forestall what is wide expected to beryllium different triumph for Ulster with the bonus-point tagged on.

ULSTER: S Moore; E McIlroy, J Hume, L Marshall, J Stockdale; J Flannery, N Doak; C Reid, T Stewart, M Moore; C Izuchukwu, S Carter; Matty Rea, Marcus Rea, D Vermeulen (capt).

Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, J Toomaga-Allen, I Henderson, D McCann, M McDonald, A Curtis, B Moxham.

ZEBRE PARMA: L Pani; J Trulla, R Kriel, E Lucchin (capt), S Gesi; G Prisciantelli, C Cook; J Pitinari, J du Toit, M Nocera; J Uys, A Zambonin; G Volpi, G Ferrari, M Kvesic.

Replacements: M Manfredi, D Rimpelli, R Genovese, L Krumov, I Bianchi, R Jelic, J Caputo, E Cronjé

Referee: AJ Jacobs (SARU).

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