Louis Ludik misses Euro tie, but Ulster ‘hopeful’ on Iain Henderson and Darren Cave

Ulster's Darren Cave is tackled by Meli Rokoua and Bjorn Basson of Southern Kings
Ulster's Darren Cave is tackled by Meli Rokoua and Bjorn Basson of Southern Kings

Louis Ludik has been ruled out of Ulster’s European Champions Cup quarter-final tie against Leinster on Saturday with a knee injury.

The influential back suffered the injury nine minutes into the Guinness PRO14 game against Southern Kings last Saturday.

On Tuesday, backs coach Dwayne Peel, confirmed Ludik would miss the game.

Darren Cave was also forced out of the Kings game in the second half having suffered a knock, but Peel said they were hopeful he would be okay.

That certainly would be a boost given the number of outside centres Ulster are currently missing, including Irish international Will Addison who is ruled out with an ongoing back issue.

Peel said: “Yeah obviously we had got a few injuries there, but hopefully the other boys in the squad will step up like I said.

“What we have done more than anything is bleed a lot of young kids and they have performed well for us and we will back them 100 per cent.”

Ulster also remain hopeful Iain Henderson will be available to play as he recovers from a knee sprain.

He suffered the injury almost three weeks ago in Ireland’s Six Nations win over France.

Peel said it was massively disappointing for Ludik to be missing out on the game.

“He has been a big part of what we have done, especially in this competition. He has been good.

“He had worked hard to get back from a long term injury as it was and for him to miss an occasion like this is tough on him.”

On Henderson, Peel added: “It is day by day with him if we are honest.

“I think the call will be made on him later in the week.”

Ulster prop Marty Moore suffered a concussion during the win over Kings and the club remain hopeful he will be available to face his old club.

“He is following the return to play protocols so hopefully he will be okay,” said Peel.

Irish internationals Rory Best and Jacob Stockdale both return Saturday’s sell-out tie at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, following their involvement in the recent Six Nations Championship.