Ulster facing early season flyhalf crisis

Sam Windsor is an injury doubt along with Ian Humphreys for Ulster
Sam Windsor is an injury doubt along with Ian Humphreys for Ulster

Head coach, Neil Doak, was reluctant to reveal too much about his outhalf situation ahead of Friday night’s Guinness PRO12 season opener against Ospreys at Kingspan Stadium.

Ian Humphreys is certain to miss the campaign starter and new summer signing, Sam Windsor, could also be a doubt.

Asked if Windsor was to be involved, Doak uneasily said there were a few issues to sort out, but remained hopeful that ahead of this afternoon’s team announcement things would be resolved.

It also means Ulster may not have a frontline place kicker with both Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson in World Cup camps with South Africa and Ireland respectively.

Luke Marshall could be an option to move into outhalf and he did attempt a conversion in last week’s pre-season defeat to Edinburgh.

Fullback Louis Ludik would also provide a place kicking option.

However, the most likely scenario would be to go for Peter Nelson who has played outhalf for Ulster Ravens and an able goalkicker.

Ulster will be without prop Callum Black (arm) and Roger Wilson (foot) while Nick Williams is available for selection following an eight match ban.

Ulster have seven players selected for the Irish World Cup squad, but an added bonus is the return of winger Andrew Trimble to the starting XV on Friday.