Ulster options remain limited for Treviso challenge

Ulster prop Tom Court
Ulster prop Tom Court

With the Ireland team to face Argentina this weekend not being named until Thursday, it was highly unlikely Ulster’s ranks would be boosted by a return of their internationals at the training camp.

Although Irish coach, Declan Kidney, probably has a reasonable idea at this stage who will face the Pumas, it would be unlikely he would release players early from the camp in case there were injury issues to consider before Saturday.

Ulster are due to play the second leg of their trip to Italy on Friday night in the RaboDirect PRO12 when meet Benetton Treviso.

If Ulster players were made available on Thursday, it would be unlikely they would be flown out just 24 hours before the game.

It means Ulster boss, Mark Anscombe, will select from the squad which travelled out to Italy with last week ahead of the Zebre game last Friday.

Ulster reported no injuries following the 27-25 last gasp win over the Italian franchise, who had pushed the Irish Province’s second string all the way.

It will mean Anscombe will remain with limited options in some positions, with Robbie Diack again likely to fill in at second row alongside Neil McComb.

Tom Court, who was the stand out Ulster player last week when he came off the bench, is a likely starter this Friday against Treviso on the loose side of the front row.

The backrow trio of Roger Wilson, Mike McComish and Nick Williams, were not as effective as they should have been and it does appear Williams does not favour playing on the side of the scrum.

Wilson, who looks back to full fitness was the standout of the trio and he could take the captain’s armband if Anscombe was of a mind to start Rob Herring at hooker in rotation with Nigel Brady.

There would be an expected change in the backline trio, Ricky Andrew, Michael Allen and Chris Cochrane all showing their inexperience at this level and the Treviso game is crying out for Irish Under-20 Peter Nelson to be given an opportunity.