Published: 17:17 | 11/9/20

Henderson returns as Cooney misses out

Iain Henderson returns to the Ulster team as John Cooney misses out among a host of changes for the PRO14 final clash against Leinster at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening. (LIVE on eir sport 1 from 6.30pm)

The Irish international second row is named in the starting XV after making a quicker than expected recovery from a hip injury.

His inclusion will come as a major boost as Ulster look to prevent Leinster from winning their third PRO14 title in succession.

The other big call sees John Cooney dropping to the bench with former All Black Alby Mathewson named at scrum-half.

After some truly spectacular performances earlier in the season, Cooney has struggled for form since the resumption and was under pressure from former Munster man Mathewson following the latter’s impact as a second half substitute in the semi-final victory over Edinburgh last weekend.

The changes see Sean Reidy come in for Jordi Murphy at openside flanker and Michael Lowry named at full-back in place of Jacob Stockdale who moves to the left wing.

Despite his heroics with the boot last weekend, Ian Madigan must settle for a place on the bench with Billy Burns set to start at ten.

Ulster: Michael Lowry, Rob Lyttle, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, Alby Mathewson, Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (c), Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: John Andrew, Jack McGrath, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Ian Madigan, Nick Timoney.

Image: INPHO

***Watch the PR)14 final LIVE on eir sport 1 this Saturday from 6.30pm.

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