Rory Best Set For Last Ulster Apperance

Rory Best and Darren Cave are set to make their final appearances at Kingspan Stadium against Connacht in the Guinness PRO14 quarter-final.

The duo, who have made a combined total of 446 appearances for Ulster to date, have both announced that they will retire from club rugby at the end of the current season.

Best has returned from injury and will captain the side from his role at hooker. He will be joined in the front row by Ross Kane and Eric O’Sullivan.

Iain Henderson and Kieran Treadwell will provide grunt from the second row. A loose forward combination of Nick Timoney, Jordi Murphy and Marcell Coetzee has been selected.

John Cooney and Billy Burns are re-instated into the half-back positions, with Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall partnered in midfield.

Abbey Insurance Academy players Michael Lowry and Robert Baloucoune will line out in the back three alongside Rob Lyttle.

Rob Herring, Ulster’s top try scorer in the PRO14 this season (seven), Andy Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor and Sean Reidy are the forward replacements. Cave, Dave Shanahan and Angus Kernohan make up the match day 23.

Connacht have won the previous two encounters between the teams this season, including when the teams met in Belfast back in October.

However, Dan McFarland’s side have been in good form since the turn of the year and have lost just one PRO14 match since early January.

Ulster: M Lowry, R Baloucoune, L Marshall, S McCloskey, R Lyttle, B Burns, J Cooney, E O’Sullivan, R Best (captain), R Kane, I Henderson, K Treadwell, N Timoney, J Murphy, M Coetzee

Replacements: R Herring, A Warwick, T O’Toole, A O’Connor, S Reidy, D Shanahan, D Cave, A Kernohan.

Ulster v Connacht

Guinness PRO14 quarter-final

Kingspan Stadium

Saturday 4th May 2019

Kick-Off 5.35pm