| 8.1°C Belfast

Ulster's Lions won't be risked in dead-rubber Leinster clash

Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss has confirmed that none of the province's trio of British and Irish Lions will be risked against Leinster tomorrow (5.15pm kick-off).

Jared Payne, Rory Best and Iain Henderson have all been carrying injuries of varying severity in recent weeks, with Payne not having played in a month, while Ulster are already out of play-off contention having failed to win since the end of March.

With all three set to leave for the Lions tour to New Zealand later this month, and a first squad meet-up to occur on Monday, it has been decided that to feature this weekend would be an unnecessary risk.

"Jared is just not quite right," said Kiss. "We possibly could have pushed it. If we were in the hunt, he would have been up in there but he's going to be absolutely flying (for the Lions).

"You'd hate for him to come on and do something (an injury). It's a once in a lifetime experience and we have agreed on it internally."

Best and Henderson have been ever-presents since returning to provincial duty from the Six Nations but Kiss revealed that both have been nursing injuries through the failed attempt to secure a PRO12 play-off berth.

"In actual fact, Rory and Hendy, they are carrying knocks," he said.

"They couldn't train earlier in the week. They could play for sure, but talking as a group with the players, we have decided not to play them in order to let them get those knocks right and give them a chance to get absolutely right to go into the Lions camp."

Belfast Telegraph