In from the cold: Ulster’s Paul Marshall

Paul Marshall
Paul Marshall
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Paul Marshall is poised to come in from the cold and feature in this Saturday’s crucial Guinness PRO14 game when Ulster meet Glasgow Warrioirs.

In what may be Ulster’s last home game of the season, scrumhalf Marshall is set to come into the side having been omitted for a lengthy period.

The game at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday evening (6:05pm) is Ulster penultimate fixture of the PRO14 regular league season - and could be their last home game of the campaigan if results over the next two weekends were to go against them.

It could be the last opportunity in Belfast to see Marshall, Tommy Bowe, and Charles Piutau, among others, playing their last home games in an Ulster jersey.

Marshall has been called in from the cold having been absent from the matchday 23 for some time now.

The scrumhalf is likely to be named on the bench behind John Cooney for the visit of the Scots in a game Ulster must win if they are to keep pressure on third placed Edinburgh for a place in the PRO14 final series.

Marshall would replace Dave Shanahan in the number 21 shirt who assistant coach, Dwayne Peel, praised his performances in recent weeks as Ulster won back-to-back games for the first time since December.

Confirming Marshall was available and in the mix, Peel said: “I think in the last month Dave Shanahan has performed well for us and in training he has been good.

He has had his opportunity. Simple as that really (in response to a question where Marshall had been for past month).

“ To be fair to Paul he is the type of guy who has really stuck in at training and he has been good, but I thought Dave played really well for us last week when he came on, his speed to breakdown and delivery was very good.

“I was pleased for him because he has been working hard all year and probably has not had too much of a sniff, and last couple of weeks he has been good, had an opportunity.”

Ulster are expected to stick with a similar starting side to that which battled to an epic 8-0 win over Ospreys in Belfast last weekend.

However, one player missing will be Matty Rea, who suffered a bang to the leg and was seen on crutches yesterday.

Peel was unable to reveal the full prognosis of the injury.

Johnny McPhillips is likely to continue at outhalf. He did not return from an HIA during the first half of last week’s game, but Peel confirmed yesterday he was available for selection.

This weekend’s game is rearranged from February when the storm ‘Beast From The East’ led to Glasgow being unable to travel.

As well as chasing down Edinburgh for third place - Ulster are currently nine points behind the Scots - they also have Benetton breathing down their necks - a point behind - for the fourth place spot which qualifies that team to a play-off for a European Champions Cup spot. A bonus point win would boost Ulster on both fronts.

Tickets for the game are available via ticketmaster or www.ulsterrugby.com