Cullen has decided to continue his theme of involving youth among the experienced players, once again allowing Ronan Kelleher a chance to continue his fine season so far at hooker, while Caelan Doris has been handed the No 8 jersey for the game.
Alongside Kelleher in the front-row are Cian Healy and Andrew Porter, who gets the nod ahead of Tadhg Furlong, while Devin Toner and James Ryan slot in behind the trio in the second-row.
Rhys Ruddock comes in as blindside-flanker, with Josh van der Flier on the openside and Doris completes the starting pack from No 8.
In the backs Jamison Gibson-Park has been picked to start at scrum-half ahead of Luke McGrath and will partner captain Johnny Sexton in the half-backs, with Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose outside them in the centre.
James Lowe takes his place on the left-wing, with Dave Kearney on the right, and Jordan Larmour finishes off the XV from full-back.
There is a huge amount of experience to lean on from the bench with the likes of Furlong and McGrath being joined by the likes Scott Fardy and Rob Kearney among the replacements.
Speaking ahead of the game Larmour has warned his teammates to expect a tough challenge acknowledging that the Saints are playing well at the start of the season.
“Saints are playing good rugby – it’s going to be a big challenge this week,” he said.
Leinster know a win in Northampton will go a long way to finishing top of Pool 1 with both teams currently sitting on nine-points after the first two rounds.
Both teams also top their respective domestic league tables at this point of the season, with Northampton top of the Premiership and Leinster top of Conference A in the PRO14 so fans can expect a tight, but exciting match on Saturday.
Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.
15. Jordan Larmour (41)
14. Dave Kearney (141)
13. Garry Ringrose (67)
12. Robbie Henshaw (39)
11. James Lowe (36)
10. Johnny Sexton (162) (c)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (79)
1. Cian Healy (211)
2. Rónan Kelleher (9)
3. Andrew Porter (56)
4. Devin Toner (239)
5. James Ryan (33)
6. Rhys Ruddock (164)
7. Josh van der Flier (75)
8. Caelan Doris (23)
16. James Tracy (101)
17. Ed Byrne (48)
18. Tadhg Furlong (103)
19. Scott Fardy (50)
20. Max Deegan (54)
21. Luke McGrath (116)
22. Ross Byrne (79)
23. Rob Kearney (212)
Ulster name team for Northampton Quarter-Final trip
Michael Lowry is named to start at full-back, and is joined in the back three by Jacob Stockdale and Robert Baloucoune. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume will form the midfield duo, and Billy Burns and John Cooney are the starting half-backs.
In the front row, Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring and Marty Moore retain their starting berths. Alan O’Connor will partner Kieran Treadwell in the second row. Last week’s Player of the Match, Sean Reidy, will start at blindside flanker, with Jordi Murphy skippering the team at openside and Nick Timoney at Number Eight.
John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea and Greg Jones will provide the forward reinforcements from the bench, with Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan and Ethan McIlroy named as the back line options.
Ulster team to play Northampton Saints, Challenge Cup Quarter-Final, Saturday 10 April at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 8pm, live on BT Sport):
(15-9) Michael Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney;
(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy (Capt.), Nick Timoney.
Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, Greg Jones, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.
Big names miss out for Ulster
The back line sees just one change from the side that played Toulouse last Friday. Michael Lowry, Jacob Stockdale and Matt Faddes all retain their positions in the back three. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume are the starting midfield duo. Billy Burns returns at fly-half and will captain the side; he will partner John Cooney at scrum-half.
The front row remains unchanged for this game. Rob Herring is named at hooker, with Eric O’Sullivan and Marty Moore packing down at loosehead and tighthead prop. Alan O’Connor will partner with his brother David – who will make his first Heineken Champions Cup start with Sam Carter missing out through concussion. Sean Reidy has been selected at blindside, with Jordi Murphy returning at openside. Nick Timoney comes in to start at Number Eight to replace the injured Marcel Coetzee.
John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, and Greg Jones are the forward bench options. Academy player, Ethan McIlroy could make his European debut if called upon from the bench, and is named alongside Alby Mathewson and Ian Madigan in the back line replacements.
Ulster team to play Gloucester, Heineken Champions Cup Round 2, Saturday 19 December 2020 at Kingsholm Stadium, kick-off 3.15pm, live on BT Sport / beIN Sport:
(15-9) Michael Lowry, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns (Capt.), John Cooney;
(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, David O’Connor, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.
Replacements: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, Greg Jones, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.
Ulster name strong side to face Toulouse
In the back three, Jacob Stockdale returns from international duty to the left wing, joining Michael Lowry at full-back and Matt Faddes on the right wing. In midfield, Stuart McCloskey also returns from the Ireland squad to partner with James Hume. Ian Madigan has been named at fly-half alongside John Cooney at scrum-half.
Having made his international debut against Scotland last week, Eric O’Sullivan, comes in to take the starting berth at loosehead prop. Rob Herring also returns from Ireland duties and is named at hooker, with Marty Moore retaining his position at tighthead. Alan O’Connor will partner with Sam Carter, who will lead the side from the second row. Sean Reidy and Jordi Murphy are named at blindside and openside, with Marcell Coetzee completing the pack at Number Eight.
John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, and Matty Rea provide the forward options, with Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore and Craig Gilroy offering back line cover from the bench.
Ulster team to play Toulouse, Heineken Champions Cup Round 1, Friday 11 December 2020 at Kingspan Stadium, kick-off 8pm, live on BT Sport / beIN Sport:
(15-9) Michael Lowry, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Ian Madigan, John Cooney;
(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter (Capt.), Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.
Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, Matty Rea, Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore, Craig Gilroy.