Friday night’s physical battle with Glasgow Warriors in the penultimate pool four Heineken Cup match at Ravenhill may have taken its toll to a degree on Ulster players, but some of the walking wounded from the game are expected to be included on the provisional panel ahead of Saturday’s away game against Castres.
Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson and Jared Payne were all injury concerns on Friday evening, but on Monday Ulster Rugby said it was hoped winger Gilroy and outhalf Jackson would be included in the panel to play.
Jackson suffered an ankle injury during the second half of the win against the Scots, a victory which secured Ulster’s place in the quarter-finals of Europe for the third consecutive season - although at present they would be facing an away game unless they were to win against Castres.
Ulster Rugby said: “Jackson’s ankle is responding well to physiotherapy treatment.”
Gilroy was involved in a heavy aerial collision with Sean Maitland and although he played on, was later withdrawn.
Ulster Rugby added: “Craig suffered a bang to the head on Friday night. He is following the necessary return-to-play protocol.
“It is hoped that both players will be available for selection for this weekend’s Heineken Cup match.”
There was no further update on Jared Payne’s situation, so it is presumed he is okay.
The fullback had just returned from a troublesome groin injury and was seen to be limping during the second half of Friday’s game - although he did go on to score the second try of the night.
It can be assumed that he will be included in today’s provisional panel.
Ulster head coach, Mark Anscombe, said the side had been without some players already this season and had come through well without them.
“To have qualified for the latter stages of Europe with one round still to play is a credit to every player who has been involved.”