Charles Piutau returns for Ulster's crunch Champions Cup clash with Exeter

Les Kiss makes three changes to his side

Charles Piutau

Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ulster welcome back Charles Piutau among three changes to their side as they prepare for their crunch Champions Cup pool game with Exeter Chiefs.

The Irish province travel to Sandy Park this Sunday knowing a win over basement team Exeter will keep their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages alive.

Dave Shanahan makes his first senior start after being named at scrum-half, while Pete Browne is also brought into the starting XV.

Shanahan partners Paddy Jackson, who kicked a winning drop goal when the sides met last October. Shanahan has made all 10 of his appearances for the province as a replacement. 

Luke Marshall and Stuart McCloskey will continue their midfield combination outside the Ireland fly-half. Piutau, is selected on the right wing, while captain Andrew Trimble moving to the opposite flank.

Louis Ludik keeps his position at fullback. There's good news for Ross Kane, who makes his first European start after being selected in an unchanged front row. He starts alongside Ireland skipper Rory Best and Callum Black.

Ulster XV to face Exeter 

(15-9): Louis Ludik, Charle Piutau, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Andrew Trimble (c), Paddy Jackson, Dave Shanahan
(1-8): Callum Black, Rory Best, Ross Kane, Kieran Treadwell, Pete Browne, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Sean Reidy

Replacements

(16-23): John Andrew, Andy Warwick, Jonny Simpson, Franco van der Merwe, Clive Ross, Paul Marshall, Brett Herron, Jacob Stockdale.