Lealifano To Make Debut As Ulster Team Named For Historic Cheetahs Clash

Christian Lealiifano is set to make his first Ulster appearance on Friday in the historic Guinness PRO14 opener versus the Toyota Cheetahs at Kingspan Stadium.

Fellow summer signings Jean Deysel and John Cooney will also make their competitive debuts for the Province, having both lined out during the pre-season fixtures.

Cooney and Lealiifano will have their first chance to form an exciting new half back partnership, while Stuart McCloskey and Tommy Bowe will link up in midfield. Louis Ludik, Andrew Trimble and Charles Piutau will form an experienced back three combination.

Chris Henry will captain the side from openside flanker, in what is an abrasive looking back row with the South African duo of Deysel and Marcell Coetzee at blindside and number 8 respectively.

Ulster Rugby team to play Toyota Cheetahs, Friday 1st September at Kingspan Stadium, kick-off 7.35pm:

(1-8): Kyle McCall, Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst, Robbie Diack, Alan O’Connor, Jean Deysel, Chris Henry (captain), Marcell Coetzee;
(9-15): John Cooney, Christian Lealiifano, Louis Ludik, Stuart McCloskey, Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble, Charles Piutau.

Replacements (16-23): John Andrew, Callum Black, Rodney Ah You, Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy, David Shanahan, Peter Nelson, Darren Cave.