Craig Gilroy delighted to be back in an Ulster shirt

Ulster's Craig Gilroy.
Ulster's Craig Gilroy.
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Ireland winger Craig Gilroy spent nearly a year on the sidelines with a back injury but he marked his return to the Ulster shirt last Saturday with two tries in the pre-season win over Glasgow.

Gilroy played only 40 minutes and is looking to make up for lost time and will start as Ulster conclude their pre-season preparations with a trip to Scotstoun to face Glasgow on Saturday.

He said: “My last game was Racing away on October 20, it was a tough road back at times but I had some great people from within this organisation to help me - the coaches, Dan McFarland, Dan Soper the skills coach and the physios all helped me get back. I woke up last Saturday and it was just a feeling that I’ve missed.

“I have played at this club and this level for a long time now and to go that long was definitely quite challenging at times, so I was just delighted to get that Ulster kit back on in that stadium and in front of the home crowd, it was great.

“Generally guys on match day will tell you they’ve that little bit of nerves but I was just really excited and happy to be able to play again, just to put the jersey on and run out there I was just really looking forward to it,” he added.

“When you’re out for that length of time, you can really start to question things and you just have to stay positive and if you’ve a good group of people around you - family, friends, team-mates here and coaches - it makes life easier.”

Gilroy is Ulster’s record try scorer in Celtic Rugby and was happy with his brace against the Warriors.

“It’s nice to dot down, I just wanted to get through the game and stay off the physio bed, it was nice absolutely,” he added.

“I missed that as well but I wasn’t going into this game thinking I’d maybe get going to set the world alight, score 10 tries.”

Irish internationals Will Addison, Marty Moore, and Jordi Murphy return to the squad while British Lions pro Jack McGrath - a summer signing from Leinster - is set to make his Ulster debut from the bench.