Tommy Bowe could be on the cusp of a return to action as Ulster make eight changes for Ospreys clash

Les Kiss's side host Ospreys this weekend

Tommy Bowe could be on the cusp of a return to action as Ulster make eight changes for Ospreys clash

©INPHO/Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Les Kiss has made eight changes to his Ulster side ahead of their Guinness PRO12 meeting with Ospreys tomorrow.

Rory Best is set to make his first start after impressing over 35 minutes in their win over Glasgow last Friday. But the inclusion of Tommy Bowe indicates that the international star could be about to make a comeback from an extended lay-off through injury.

This would be his first competitive game in almost five months following a knee injury which required surgery. Bowe withdrew himself from the Irish squad ahead of the tour of South Africa but now looks to be ready for a long anticipated return.

Best, along with Kyle McCall and Rodney Ah You will make up the new look front row while Franco van der Merwe will captain the side from the second row alongside Alan O'Connor.

Iain Henderson, Sean Reidy and Roger Wilson have been retained in the back row with Paul Marshall partnering Paddy Jackson at half-back.

Charles Piutau has reverted to full back and will be joined in the back three by Louis Ludik on the left wing and Craig Gilroy, who missed out last week through injury, on the right.

Jared Payne will start the game at number 13 alongside Darren Cave, who shifts across to inside centre.

Ulster team and replacements to play Ospreys, Saturday 1st October, Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 6.30pm):

(15-9): C Piutau, C Gilroy, J Payne, D Cave, L Ludik, P Jackson, P Marshall;

(1-8): K McCall, R Best, R Ah You, A O'Connor, F van der Merwe, I Henderson, S Reidy, R Wilson;

Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, C Black, R Kane, K Treadwell, R Diack, R Pienaar, B Herron, T Bowe.