Jared Payne, Rory Best and Iain Henderson have been named in the Lions squad to tour New Zealand

Pro12: Ulster v LeinsterDate: Saturday, 6 May Venue: Kingspan Stadium Kick-off: 17:15 BSTCoverage: Live on BBC Two Northern Ireland and the BBC Sport website. Highlights later on the BBC Sport website

Ruan Pienaar has been passed fit to make a final competitive appearance for Ulster in Saturday’s Pro12 Irish derby against leaders Leinster.

Pienaar, set to join Montpellier, has recovered from a back spasm.

Ulster, as expected, are without their British & Irish Lions trio Rory Best, Jared Payne and Iain Henderson.

Roger Wilson will make his final Ulster appearance before retiring against a Leinster side that includes Lions picks Tadhg Furlong and Jack McGrath.

“Jared is not quite right [ankle niggle] and Rory and Iain are also carrying knocks and couldn’t train earlier in the week,” said Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss.

“Iain has been carrying an elbow for a number of weeks, Rory’s been carrying a shoulder and we’re giving them that chance to get absolutely right to go on the Lions tour and gain that experience.”

Johnny Sexton (left) is rested for Saturday’s Irish derby

Sexton among Lions trio missing for Leinster

Leinster’s other Lions selections Sean O’Brien, Robbie Henshaw and Johnny Sexton are rested with Joey Carbery picked to partner Luke McGrath at half-back.

Garry Ringrose is also included in the backs along with another emerging talent Adam Byrne while the visitors will be captained by the experienced Isa Nacewa.

While O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip and Sean Cronin are all missing from the forwards, Leo Cullen’s starting pack still includes other Ireland players Devin Toner, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan and James Tracy.

Pienaar, who will make his 141st Ulster appearance, will be partnered at half-back by Paddy Jackson in an all-international backline that also includes Charles Piutau, Craig Gilroy, Andrew Trimble, Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall.

Number eight Wilson is joined by Robbie Diack and Sean Reidy in the back row with Kieran Treadwell and Alan O’Connor names as the locks for the sixth straight game.

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Neil Doak

With Ireland captain Best missing, Rob Herring is joined in the front row by Andy Warwick and Rodney Ah You.

Centre Stuart Olding will have surgery on Friday on the injury he suffered in the defeat by the Ospreys and will miss Ireland’s summer tour matches against the United States of America and Japan in June.

Marcell Coetzee (knee), Tommy Bowe (ankle), Darren Cave (vestibular dysfunction), Rob Lyttle (shoulder), Clive Ross (knee) Lorcan Dow (ankle), Johnny Simpson (neck), Matthew Rea (hamstring) and Johnny McPhillips (groin) are the other Ulster players to have their season prematurely ended by injury.

While mathematically Les Kiss’ side can still make the play-offs, they require the unlikely scenario of beating Leinster with a try-scoring bonus point, Ospreys losing to Scarlets without any bonus points, and Ulster making up a points difference of 73.

Ulster: C Gilroy; A Trimble (capt), L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Piutau; P Jackson, R Pienaar; A Warwick, R Herring, R Ah You; K Treadwell, A O’Connor; R Diack, S Reidy, R Wilson.

Replacements: J Andrew, K McCall, R Lutton, C Henry, N Timoney, P Marshall, P Nelson, J Stockdale.

Leinster: I Nacewa; A Byrne, G Ringrose, N Reid, F McFadden; J Carbery, L McGrath; J McGrath, J Tracy, T Furlong; D Toner, H Triggs; R Ruddock, J van der Flier, J Conan.

Replacements: R Strauss, C Healy, A Porter, R Molony, Dan Leavy, J Gibson-Park, R Byrne, R O’Loughlin.


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