Luke Marshall poised to make long awaited Ulster return

Ulster's Luke Marshall
Ulster's Luke Marshall

International centre Luke Marshall is poised to make a comeback for Ulster next week having been out for 10 months with a serious knee injury.

The classy midfielder suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in Ulster’s final game of last season.

A win over Ulster at Kingspan Stadium against Ospreys in a PRO14 European play-off secured their place in this year’s Champions Cup.

Marshall timely return - potentially being involved in the Guinness PRO14 home game on Saturday, March 23, against Southern Kings - saw him registered by Ulster for the European Champions Cup on Thursday.

Quarter-finalists can add a further three names to their panels and Marshall was included along with fellow centre James Hume and prop Tommy O’Hagan.

Ulster are due to face Leinster in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday, March 30, as they make their first appearance in the last eight of Europe for the first time in five seasons.

Meanwhile, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has signed a two-year contract extension with the Irish province while senior coach Stuart Lancaster has also agreed a new deal.

Cullen, who was appointed before the 2015/16 season, will remain in charge until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

The duration of ex-England coach Lancaster’s deal has not been revealed.