A tough break for Jackson ahead of build-up for Rio
Ulsterman John Jackson promises he will be fit and raring to go for the Rio Olympics, despite undergoing an operation on his hand earlier this week.
The Reading defender suffered a minor break and although he could have continued playing on, he took the opportunity to get the problem sorted at the Ulster Clinic so that it wouldn't affect him closer to Rio.
Jackson should be back in action within a few weeks but will miss the next stage of Ireland's build-up for the Olympics - two games against France in Dublin in early March.
Nine Ulstermen have been named in the Irish squad for the games against France but also missing are regulars including Ulstermen Eugene Magee and Timmy Cockram, Munster's Conor Harte and Leinster's Kyle Good.
That gives Ulster's rising star Neal Glassey the opportunity to show what he can do against a team currently ranked just five places below the Irish.
The two games take place on Tuesday, March 1 (7pm) and Wednesday, March 2 (6pm) at the Merrion Fleet Arena at Rathdown School in Dublin.
Meanwhile, South Antrim chalked up a crucial 4-3 Premier League win at North Down on Wednesday night while in the Senior League Queen's beat Cliftonville 1-0.
IRELAND: J Bell, N Glassey, P Gleghorne, M Watt, M Bell, D Carlisle, M Robson, C Cargo, P Caruth (all Ulster); R Gormley, S Loughrey, S O'Donoghue, A Sothern, M Darling, G Watkins, S Cole, L Cole, D Fitzgerald (all Leinster); D Harte, K Shimmins (all Munster).