Belfast Telegraph

Marshall is fit but Ulster must wait for Payne

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster expect to have Luke Marshall available for Saturday's Guinness PRO12 trip to Treviso but fellow Ireland international centre Jared Payne will miss out through injury.

Having each played two of the three Tests on the Irish tour to South Africa in June, both are now free to feature under the terms of the IRFU Player Welfare Programme but Payne is carrying a calf issue picked up at a national training camp at Carton House last month.

With Marshall back in harness, along with last week's returning internationals, Ulster are only waiting for Rory Best, Paddy Jackson, Iain Henderson and Andrew Trimble to make their provincial comeback after summer exertions against the Springboks. All four started each Test for Joe Schmidt's side.

Craig Gilroy, another who featured on tour but was able to start last week's victory against Newport, also looks sure to miss out this weekend after the concussion he picked up against Dragons while Paul Marshall is a major doubt after taking a blow to the ribs.

Rodney Ah You is going through the return to play protocols after being denied his Ulster debut last week thanks to concussion.

On the upcoming selection, head coach Neil Doak said: "We have to wait and see on a couple who picked up bumps and bruises at the weekend. We've a long week (with an eight-day turnaround) so there isn't the same huge rush as normal.

"Rodney is back on the paddock now but has to do all the return to play protocols. He was running (yesterday) and doing his decision making. He's at the latter stages and hopefully he's available for selection."

Ah You's return would be a boost given the injury situation at tight-head prop with Wiehahn Herbst, Ricky Lutton and Johnny Simpson all on the shelf.

New signing Anton Peikrishvili, the Georgian international brought in to ease the injury crisis developing around the No.3 jersey, is still awaiting his visa and according to Doak will not be available for the trip to Italy.

The former scrum-half was, however, pleased with the impact that debutant Ross Kane made against Dragons.

The Academy man filled the void left by experienced teammates last week with his head coach confident he could do the job again if called upon.

"We were very pleased," said Doak. "He did really well in a different level to what he has been used to. He took a few bumps but all in all he did well.

"There were a few nice link plays in midfield, one that even helped for a try, but scrummaging was always going to be the key. He held his own there too."

Belfast Telegraph


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