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An Tarbh
05-09-08, 05:17 PM
<div align=\'center\'>http://www.therugbyforum.com/forum/uploads/Ulster.pngUlster v Scarletshttp://www.therugbyforum.com/forum/uploads/Llanelli.png</div>

South African prop BJ Botha will make his first start for Ulster against the Scarlets in Friday night&#39;s Magners League opener at Ravenhill (1930 BST).

Botha has only trained with the squad this week after arriving last weekend.

Darren Cave gets his first competitive start for the province at centre while Paddy Wallace starts at fly-half.

Honours were shared between the sides in their two Magners League clashes last season.

The Scarlets won 32-8 in Llanelli in October, but went down 20-8 in the return match at Ravenhill in February.

Ulster stalwart Justin Fitzpatrick is named at loose head, with captain Rory Best at hooker and new Ulster signing Botha at tight head.

In the second row, Carlo del Fava partners new recruit Ed O&#39;Donoghue and the back row sees Robbie Diack return at number eight with Matt McCullough and Kieron dawson named as the two flankers.

Isaac Boss joins Wallace as the half-back pairing, with former Australia A player Clinton Schifcofske named at full-back.

Ireland player Andrew Trimble starts on the right wing with Fijian international Timoci Nagusa named on the left wing.

The centre pairing sees Scottish international Rob Dewey partner Cave.

Ulster coach Matt Williams is confident Botha will be fit despite only arriving in the province last week.

"BJ has been training with the Sharks for the last few weeks so I have no concerns over his fitness levels.

"He has impressed us all at training this week and I am delighted to name him in the side.

"It is important to hit the ground running and I feel we have picked a strong side for the first game.

"Scarlets are a good side and have recruited well over the summer.

"They will be keen to lay down the law at Ravenhill as we meet them again in the Heineken Cup in December but we are determined to get our season off to a good start and build up that confidence in the team."

Scarlets flanker Simon Easterby has backed the new coaching regime in Llanelli to serve them well when they start their league campaign in Ulster.

Phil Davies departed at the end of last season, paving the way for Nigel Davies to return to Stradey Park as coach.

Former Ireland captain Easterby says the players must shoulder blame for last season&#39;s failings, but welcomed the new regime at the west Wales side.

"Nigel is single minded and the players have responded," said Easterby.

"He has built a coaching team around him, with Paul Moriarty joined by John Muggleton.

"Brad Harrington and Ryan Campbell have come in on the conditioning side to complement what Nigel wants to do."

Gavin Evans and Rob Higgitt are expected to start at centre for the Scarlets in the injury absence of Regan King and Jon Davies.

Flanker Johnathan Edwards is a doubt after picking up a leg injury in last week&#39;s friendly win over Wasps.

The two sides will also face each other in the group stages of this season&#39;s Heineken Cup.

Ulster: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Rob Dewey, 11 Timoci Nagusa, 10 Paddy Wallace, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Kieron Dawson, 6 Matt McCullough, 5 Ed O&#39;Donoghue, 4 Carlo Del Fava, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Rory Best©, 1 Justin Fitzpatrick.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Tom Court, 18 Ryan Caldwell, 19 David Pollock, 20 Cillian Willis, 21 Niall O&#39;Connor, 22 Bryn Cunningham.

Scarlets: 15 Morgan Stoddart, 14 Darren Daniel, 13 Rob Higgitt, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Mark Jones, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Sililo Martens, 8 David Lyons, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Simon Easterby ©, 5 Simon Maling, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Kees Meeuws, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Deacon Manu, 17 Mahonri Schwalger, 18 Vernon Cooper, 19 Dafydd Jones, 20 Martin Roberts, 21 Ceiron Thomas, 22 Nathan Brew.

BBC Sport (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/my_club/ulster/7594213.stm)

Sir Speedy
05-09-08, 07:58 PM
OMAGAD. Ulster 9 - 16 Llanelli - match is still live.
GO LLANELLI! :bana: HEINEKEN CUP GLORY HERE WE COME!

http://failurecasca.de/wp-content/uploads/awesome_med.png

Prestwick
05-09-08, 08:27 PM
You know, when you crash out horribly of the group stages, I&#39;m going to quote that...

Sir Speedy
05-09-08, 08:31 PM
I&#39;ll just deny I ever said anything of the kind, mock the Saracens - by the way, what pool are Saracens in? Oh that&#39;s right... :D - and question your sexuality. :bleh!:

Prestwick
05-09-08, 08:35 PM
We&#39;l be back next year! Ready to hear the same old tired promises of greatness from yet another Welsh side which is nothing but a footnote, an asterisk and a regret in the history of the Heineken Cup :P

Incredible Schalk
05-09-08, 10:34 PM
I fansy Llanelli to pick up a point this season :unsure:

Sir Speedy
05-09-08, 10:40 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Incredible Schalk @ Sep 5 2008, 11:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=346106')</div>
I fansy Llanelli to pick up a point this season :unsure:[/b]
Oh, I don&#39;t know. Up against the might of Ulster (you know, the team we just beat tonight <_______<), Stade Francais (the underperformers) and the Harlequins (who look like they have a decent side this year - for a change), we&#39;ll be lucky to get that one point...
^_____^