The team is captained by Neil McComb, who has been in impressive form in his recent RaboDirect PRO12 outings. The front five is made up entirely of Ballynahinch and Belfast Harlequins players as McComb is joined by James Simpson (second row), Conor Carey, Richard Lutton (both prop) and Niall Annett. Malone clubman Conor Joyce is in the back row along with Ali Birch and Mike McComish.
Belfast Harlequins’ half backs Michael Heaney and Stuart Olding earn starts, with Niall O’Connor and Michael Allen forming a midfield partnership. Wingers Chris Cochrane and Ricky Andrew join Adam d’Arcy in the back three.
Rob Herring, who has made nine senior appearances since his arrival in the summer, will provide quality back up for Annett at hooker. Adam Macklin will make his return from a medial ligament injury after being named as the replacement prop. Alan O’Connor and Sean O’Connell will cover lock and back row respectively.
The backline replacements are development scrumhalf Blane McIlroy, young Dungannon centre Stuart McCloskey and Ireland U20 winger Rory Scholes.
The Ravens started the campaign well with a comprehensive 49-19 win at home to Bridgend on 13th October. The following week proved more difficult as a trip to Bristol ended in a 34-28 loss. They did manage two bonus points for finishing within seven points of their opponents and for scoring four tries.
They currently sit second in the table on 7 points, just 1 behind Bristol. Cardiff are yet to pick up a win in the competition and occupy the bottom pool position as a result.
Tickets for the game are available to either pre-purchase or to buy at the gate on Saturday.
Premium Plus - £40
Premium 1, 2 & 3 - £35
Block B, C, D - Adults £19 & Children £12
A/E Inner - Adults £16 & Children £10
A/E Outer - Adults £14 & Children £10
Promenade - Adults £10 & Children £6
- Free entry for Season Ticket holders
- Gates open at 1.30pm
- No parking available inside the ground (except for disabled users)
- Aquinas car park will be closed
- The Park ‘n’ Ride facility will not be in operation
- The Beer Tent will be closed so the Scoop Bar will be open to all
- Viewing will be from Premium seats, Grandstand and Promenade only
Ulster Ravens XV & replacement to play Cardiff RFC, British & Irish Cup, Sat 8th December, Ravenhill (kick off 2.30pm):
(15-9): Adam D’Arcy; Ricky Andrew, Michael Allen, Niall O’Connor, Chris Cochrane; Stuart Olding, Michael Heaney;
(1-8): Conor Carey, Niall Annett, Richard Lutton, James Simpson, Neil McComb (capt), Conor Joyce, Ali Birch, Mike McComish;
Replacements (16-22): Rob Herring, Adam Macklin, Alan O’Connor, Sean O’Connell, Blane McIlroy, Stuart McCloskey, Rory Scholes.
Management Team: Allen Clarke, Gary Longwell, Alan Rankin, Kieran Campbell, David Drake, David Minion.
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