|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Venue: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast Date: Saturday, 1-2 January Kick off: 15:15 GMT|
|Coverage: Live coverage on BBC Radio Ulster MW and live scores on the BBC Sport website.|
Robert Baloucoune is likely to make his first European appearance for Ulster inside their crucial Champions Cup tie with Racing 92 on Saturday.
The 21-year-old wing replaces Henry Speight, who’s came back to Australia, in another of just two varies from Ulster’s past European outing against Scarlets.
Alan O’Connor will associate Kieran Treadwell at lock at the lack of the wounded Iain Henderson.
Ulster sit second in Pool Four, five points behind the French side.
Only O’Connor and flanker Sean Reidy maintain their positions by the team which suffered a 40-7 defeat from Leinster at the RDS last week.
Together with Speight back in Super Rugby side Brumbies and Craig Gilroy still sidelined by injury, Dan McFarland has selected Baloucoune for what is arguably Ulster’s largest match of the season so far.
The prior Academy wing has not played since 21 December having been extended a two-week ban after having a shaky aerial battle on Munster’s Darren Sweetnam.
Having been shown a yellow card for its first minute challenge, Baloucoune came back into the activity to score Ulster’s 2nd try at a 19-12 victory.
Not surprisingly, McFarland has remembered his whole contingent of available Ireland internationals including Stockdale, who’s the only player in this season’s contest to have scored a try in each round.
Hosts targets Quarter Final berth
Back-to-back bonus-point wins Scarlets have put Ulster in contention for a place in the past eight of this contest, with the three most useful runners up accompanying the five star pool champions at the quarterfinals.
The northern state never have attained the playoff stage since 2014 and realize that a win on Saturday will render them well placed for eligibility before their final group match against Leicester at Welford Road a few weeks.
Since raising the European Cup 20 years ago Ulster have won 17 of their 2-3 home games against French opposition.
Nevertheless having already claimed an emphatic 44-12 win over their opponents in October, Racing is going to soon be eyeing a secure which would secure top spot in Pool Four.
This past year’s beaten finalists have again displayed their vast array of attacking talent from the opening four rounds and also would be the competition’s highest point scorers.
Simon Zebo is likely to make his initial appearance on Irish land since linking from Munster in the start of the growing season, while Scotland’s Finn Russell continues at fly-half.
At another Pool Four fixture, Leicester travel to Parc y Scarlets knowing that anything under a bonus-point triumph will but end their dimmed hopes of eligibility.
Ulster: Ludik; Baloucoune, Addison, McCloskey, Stockdale; Burns, Cooney; O’Sullivan, Best (capt), Moore, O’Connor, Treadwell; Reidy, Murphy, Coetzee.
Replacements:Herring, Warwick, Kane, Nagle, Timoney, Shanahan, Lowry, Cave.
Racing 92: Dulin; Zebo, Vakatawa, Chavancy, Imhoff; Russell, Machenaud; Gogichashvili, Szarzewski (capt), Tameifuna, Le Roux, Nakarawa; Lauret, Chouzenoux, Claassen.
Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU)