Jackson benched for Castres challenge

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has shuffled his backline for his side’s final Heineken Cup Pool 4 match against Castres Olympique at the Stade Pierre Antoine on Saturday (1.35pm) with Ruan Pienaar favoured over Paddy Jackson at flyhalf.

South African Pienaar switches from scrum-half to pivot for the visit to France while Paul Marshall has been entrusted with the number 9 jersey.

The other change in the backs sees flyer Craig Gilroy move from his familiar wing role to fullback in place of Jared Payne who is left out of the squad due to an ongoing groin problem. Michael Allen takes over from Gilroy on left wing.

Paddy Wallace, Darren Cave and Andrew Trimble complete a threatening Ulster backline.

Anscombe has opted for a familiar front row unit consisting of Tom Court, Rory Best and John Afoa.

In the second row Neil McComb has been chosen to partner Lewis Stevenson with Iain Henderson dropping to the bench.

Nick Williams has been ruled out for up to two months through injury so his place in the back row is filled by Robbie Diack who will keep company with stand-in skipper Sean Henry and Roger Wilson.

Ulster (v. Castres): C Gilroy; A Trimble, D Cave, P Wallace, M Allen; R Pienaar, P Marshall; T Court, R Best, J Afoa, L Stevenson, N McComb, R Diack, S Henry (capt), R Wilson.

Replacements: R Herring, C Black, D Fitzpatrick, I Henderson, M McComish, M Heaney, P Jackson, C Cochrane.

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