Les Kiss' side have two wins from three games in the Champions Cup
Ulster's Director of Rugby Les Kiss has made eight changes to the team for this weekend's European Rugby Champions Cup tie with Oyonnax at Stade Charles-Mathon.
Kiss will rest some established players who've completed a long sequence of games over December and the New Year, but is delighted to welcome Craig Gilroy back into the starting lineup. The Ireland winger will return to the team at fullback, with Louis Ludik providing cover from a strong bench.
Sammy Arnold will start his first European game on the right wing, with Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall continuing their midfield partnership. Rory Scholes occupies the left wing berth. Ian Humphreys and Paul Marshall are selected at half-back with Paddy Jackson and Ruan Pienaar named on an experienced replacements' panel.
Prop Wiehahn Herbst hasn't recovered from a knock he received last weekend; Ricky Lutton takes his place in the front row alongside Captain Rory Best and Kyle McCall. Callum Black, Rob Herring and Bronson Ross will provide front row cover from the bench.
Lewis Stevenson replaces Alan O'Connor, who also hasn't recovered from a knock he picked up against Munster, in the second row alongside Franco van der Merwe. There is one change in the back row, after a physically demanding stretch of games, Nick Williams is replaced at number 8 by Roger Wilson. Williams will be joined by Sean Reidy on the bench. Robbie Diack and Chris Henry remain on the flanks.
Ulster team and replacements to face Oyonnax:
(15-9): Craig Gilroy, Sammy Arnold, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Rory Scholes, Iain Humphreys, Paul Marshall.
(1-8): Kyle McCall, Rory Best (capt), Ricky Lutton, Lewis Stevenson, Franco van der Merwe, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Roger Wilson.
Replacements (16-23): Rob Herring, Callum Black, Bronson Ross, Nick Williams, Sean Reidy, Ruan Pienaar, Paddy Jackson, Louis Ludik.