Ulster take on Bordeaux in European cup clash

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Ulster are in France today as they take on Bordeaux in their Champions Cup season opener.

Andrew Trimble returns to captain the side, while Charles Piutau misses out through injury.

Les Kiss' men didn't make it past the European group stage last year, but sit at the top of the Pro12 table.

Lock Pete Browne says his fellow forwards are up for the challenge.

"I'm basically really excited and really looking forward to the opportunity to play," said Browne of the clash at Stade Chaban-Delmas.

"There have been areas that I've been working on - to put on a bit of weight and to scrummage on the right side. That takes a bit more out of you around the park, but I'm enjoying the challenge of all of that.

"I feel like I've added my weight to the squad in that way and I just want to get out there and ball-carry and do my job in defence."

Les Kiss' men will travel to Bordeaux with confidence, buoyed by successes in four of their last five matches on French soil. And despite a blip against Connacht last week - a first defeat of the season - Browne believes the squad is in good shape going into this encounter. 

"We're in a really good place now. We've been honest with each other and had some good team meetings. The sessions we have done have reinforced what we're about, especially defensively, and reinforced our individual roles within the systems."

Kick-off is at two o'clock.

Ulster team and replacements to play Bordeaux-Bègles, Sunday 16th October, Stade Chaban-Delmas (kick-off 2.00pm local time, 1.00pm BST):
 Jared Payne, Andrew Trimble (captain), Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar;
(1-8): Andy Warwick, Rory Best, Rodney Ah You, Alan O'Connor, Franco van der Merwe, Iain Henderson, Clive Ross, Sean Reidy;
Replacements (16-23): Rob Herring, Kyle McCall, Ross Kane, Pete Browne, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Jacob Stockdale, Rob Lyttle.

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