Iain Henderson returns to the Ulster starting XV for tonight's URC clash against Emirates Lions at Kingspan Stadium (7.35pm, live on BBC).

Henderson returned to club colours last week off the bench in the 21-14 home win against Munster after his involvement for Ireland at the Rugby World Cup.

That victory was a perfect response having lost at Connacht the previous week and head coach Dan McFarland has named a strong team for the arrival of the Johannesburg club.

Fellow internationals, Rob Herring and Stuart McCloskey are also named to start, while Marty Moore is named on the bench having been out since January with injury.

Last week's win will have done wonders for confidence and the aim will be to carry that momentum into tonight's game.

"We had a proud performance against Munster on Friday night and we are lucky to be back here again this Friday to back it up," said Skills Coach, Craig Newby.

"We are in a good place but its such a competitive league, so many teams are fighting for the top eight. The Lions have had some really close losses and a really good win against Scarlets. We are never happy with the status quo and are always trying to push forward."

The last time the South African outfit was in Belfast, they suffered a 26-10 defeat. That came in 2021 so will count for absolutely nothing this evening.

To continue on from last week, it will require another strong performance and while every game brings its own challenges, the bottom line will be to ensure they are ready for what is coming their way from the off.

"Every team is unique. South Africans teams always love the set pieces, running hard, tackling hard, a good jackal side, probably similar to Munster in the breakdown fight," Newby added.

"Their kicking game is a real strength and have some real athletes in the backs. They have different threats around the ball, we have had a short week of training, and this week is about us, and making sure we get our stuff right."