Ulster’s dramatic victory against Bath has come at a price - with British and Irish Lions prop Jack McGrath, Australian lock Sam Carter and winger Robert Lyttle set to miss the vital clash with Clermont on Friday night.
“Obviously Sam, Jack and Robbie Lyttle went off with injuries there, so they won’t be available for this week,” said Ulster assistant coach Dwayne Peel. “I couldn’t tell you how long they’re going to be out.
“One thing is for sure, we’re playing one of the best this week, they have consistently been one of the powerhouses of European rugby in recent years.
“It’s a massive challenge, we spoke last year of the prospect of Racing coming here and we have spoken of how much of a challenge it was and it’s exactly the same this week, they are a star-studded team and a big team of big men.
“They are coming off the back of a big win (v Harlequins in Europe) and they’ve a history in this tournament.
“It’s great for us to be at home and that generates a brilliant atmosphere for us, we love playing here.
“I think that historically they travel well in Europe, it’s going to be a huge occasion and, hopefully, it will be a sell-out.”
After securing the win in Bath another victory over Clermont would put Ulster in command of Pool 4.
“It’s a momentum-builder,” said Peel. “It’s slightly different this year because the breaks are less in terms of time, we’re not looking further than this week and we’ll see where we are after that.”