Despite many of the reigning back to back champions players being in Japan at the Rugby World Cup with Ireland, Cullen has been able to call upon experienced players as well as mixing in some youth, especially on the bench.
In the front-row their is 185 appearances on either side of two-time capped hooker Ronan Kelleher with Peter Dooley and Michael Bent on either side, while Ross Molony captains the side from the second-row with Devin Toner alongside him.
In the back-row Max Deegan takes the blindside-flanker position, with Will Conors on the openside and Caelan Doris completing the pack from No 8.
Jamison Gibson-Park and Ross Byrne are paired up as the half-back partnership, with Joe Tomane and Rory O’Loughlin outside them in the centre positions.
Dave Kearney takes his place on the left-wing, with Adam Byrne on the right and the exciting Jimmy O’Brien at the full-back.
There is the possibility of two debuts being handed out on Saturday from the bench with prop Michael Milne and back Harry Byrne, fly-half Ross’ brother, having the chance to come on for their first appearances for the men in blue.
Leinster will be hoping to take advantage of a Benetton team that is missing its stars who are in Japan, as they look to kick-start their attempt to win a third PRO14 title in a row.
Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.
15. Jimmy O’Brien (7)
14. Adam Byrne (52)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (61)
12. Joe Tomane (13)
11. Dave Kearney (136)
10. Ross Byrne (71)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (70)
1. Peter Dooley (61)
2. Rónan Kelleher (2)
3. Michael Bent (124)
4. Ross Molony (82) CAPTAIN
5. Devin Toner (231)
6. Max Deegan (46)
7. Will Connors (5)
8. Caelan Doris (16)
16. James Tracy (92)
17. Michael Milne (0)
18. Vakh Abdaladze (7)
19. Josh Murphy (21)
20. Scott Penny (6)
21. Hugh O’Sullivan (14)
22. Harry Byrne (0)
23. Hugo Keenan (5)
Ulster to welcome 1,000 fans for Scarlets clash
Ulster Rugby last night announced that 1,000 supporters will be welcomed to the Kingspan Stadium this weekend. Statement from Ulster Rugby below:
The Ulster Men have played behind closed doors since the opening game of the season against Benetton Rugby when the club successfully trialled the safe return of spectators following extensive consultation with the IRFU, Belfast City Council and the Northern Ireland Executive.
All 500 pairs of tickets will be made available to #TogetherUlster Members only via an online ballot process. Members who applied for tickets to the Benetton match but missed out due to limited availability will receive priority in the ballot.
Sunday night’s match will feature a mix of seating and terracing in operation across all four stands and the East Terrace. Tickets are again priced at £20 each, allocated in groups of two with two-metre physical distancing factored in.
The online ballot will be open for 24 hours from 1pm on Tuesday 17 November on the Ulster Rugby Ticket Account Manager, and account holders can apply for one pair of tickets per every Adult #TogetherUlster Membership held. All successful applicants will be notified on Wednesday evening once the ballot has closed and tickets have been allocated. Members will then have until 1pm on Thursday 19 November to confirm their ticket purchase and process payment.
Bad news on the injury front for Munster back-rower
Munster medical department have issued the latest player update with Liam Coombes, John Hodnett and Alex McHenry all ruled out due to respective injuries.
The young trio sustained knocks in different training sessions and will not be available for this weekend’s clash.
Alex McHenry underwent surgery for a thumb injury and will not be available for the coming weeks, while Liam Coombes has sustained a minor hamstring injury.
Unfortunately, it is a longer-term outlook for John Hodnett who sustained an achilles tendon injury. The Academy back row will undergo surgery early next week before commencing his rehabilitation programme.
A fourth player is already self-isolating after returning a positive test result from Monday’s PCR testing. The player remains well, and no other players have been identified as close contacts.
Rea to win 50th cap v Cardiff
The 27-year-old Ballymena man made his Ulster debut against the Toyota Cheetahs in September 2017, and has already shown some excellent form this year when collecting the Player of the Match award in the season opener versus Benetton.
Rea will start at blindside flanker, with Jordi Murphy being retained at openside and Nick Timoney coming in to start at number eight. Adam McBurney will make his first start this season at hooker and is joined in the front row by Eric O’Sullivan – who scored his first Ulster try last week – and Marty Moore. Alan O’Connor retains his starting berth in the second row, and will be partnered with Kieran Treadwell, who is also making his first start this season.
Burns is one of four changes to the back line, with Stuart McCloskey also being released from international duties to start alongside Stewart Moore in midfield. Michael Lowry comes in to start at full-back, and he will be joined on the wings by Louis Ludik and the returning Craig Gilroy.
Luke Marshall is set to make his return from injury to make his first appearance this season as he is included among the replacements. Alby Mathewson and Academy back three prospect Ethan McIlroy will cover the backline along with Marshall. John Andrew, Jack McGrath, Ross Kane, Sam Carter, and Sean Reidy provide the forward options on the bench.
Issued by Ulster Rugby