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Friday 20 January 2017

Ex-Belvedere scrum-half Shanahan to make first start

Ulster’s David Shanahan. Pic: Sportsfile
Ulster’s David Shanahan. Pic: Sportsfile

Les Kiss will go into the Chiefs territory without Ruan Pienaar in what could be the difference between victory and defeat.

David Shanahan has gained the favour of Director of Rugby Les Kiss over the long-standing claims of Paul Marshall.

The former Belvedere College scrum-half will make his first start for the province.

Overall, there are three changes as the mercurial Charles Piutau and the confrontational Peter Browne look to make their presence felt.

Loose-head Ross Kane will make his first European start on one side of Rory Best as Andrew Trimble takes the captaincy.

There is impressive power from second row Kieran Treadwell and flanker Iain Henderson as Ulster bid to combat a well-drilled Exeter.

The English club will not be bothered by the fact they are out of the competition.

"It's going to be a high intensity game this weekend because it's two very good sides who are going well," said Director of Rugby Rob Baxter.

"Ulster have probably got a bit more to play for than we have, but we're used to facing that in the Champions Cup and we've got to make sure that's something that brings the best out of us."

The Northern Province simply has to take four points away from Sandy Park so that they have something to play for against Bordeaux-Begles next week.

They may come up just short of their goal.

Exeter: P Dollman; J Nowell, M Campagnaro, I Whitten, O Woodburn; G Steenson (capt), D Lewis; B Moon, L Cowan-Dickie, G Holmes, M Lees, J Hill, T Johnson, D Armand, T Waldrom.

Ulster: L Ludik; C Piutau, L Marshall, S McCloskey, A Trimble (capt); P Jackson, D Shanahan; C Black, R Best, R Kane, K Treadwell, P Browne, I Henderson, C Henry, S Reidy.

Verdict: Exeter.

Exeter v ulster, tomorrow, KO 5.30 (live BT Sport 2)

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