Ward and Bell back for Ulster
November 25, 1999
Heineken Cup champions Ulster will have Irish internationals Andy Ward (pictured) and Jonathan Bell back in their side for their vital Heineken Cup Pool Three clash with Wasps at Ravenhill tomorrow night.
Bell has recovered from a thumb injury while Ward's foot fracture is not as serious as was first thought. Bell replaces Niall Malone, while Ward takes over from Irish team-mate Dion O'Cuinneagain.
Having gone down 26-12 at Bourgoin on the opening weekend, the champions need to bounce back to keep alive their hopes of successfully defending their title.
That was Ulster's last defeat in the tournament at Ravenhill and Humphreys' men will be seeking a repeat of the victories they posted over Toulouse(twice), Stade Francais and Ebbw Vale at home last season.
Coach Harry Williams said, "We have targeted all our home games for victories in much the same way as we did last season. We were disappointed at our defeat in Bourgoin last weekend, but it wasn't as bad a performance as many people made out.
"A number of things disappointed me in terms of our management of the game. We conceded tries either side of half time, but we were in the game for the higher proportion of the 80 minutes.
"Part of the problem is that the expectations of this side from the public are out of all proportion to reality.
"Two years ago the crowd in Belfast would have turned up to see a good Wasps side in action. Now at least they are coming to see what is a capable Ulster side.
"We have a stronger squad than last year, but things haven't clicked for us as yet. Hopefully, that will happen when we return to Ravenhill in the Heineken Cup.
"I watched a video of Wasps against Llanelli and they are a good, workmanlike side who are very well organised."
The other change in the side that fell in Bourgoin is in the second row, where Mark Blair starts ahead of Gary Longwell.
"Here is the line-up I believe will take to the field on Saturday, let the abuse commence." Tom Hamilton has a punt at the Lions' starting XV for the first Test in his latest Tour Diary
"Drafting former Lions heroes and rising stars into your side at short notice may make for great copy but it does not make for a great side." Graham Jenkins on the lesson from the Lions' first loss
"At full-time I could not see the field for people dancing in front of me." Tom Hamilton reflects on the Lions' defeat at the hands of the Brumbies in Canberra
To coincide with the Lions' tour of Australia, and in association with Dove Men+Care, we are asking you to vote for the greatest Lions moments of the professional era