Ulster have a number of key players absent from their preliminary 31 man squad as they prepare for Friday’s Magners League play-off with Leinster at the RDS (KO 7.05pm).
Brian McLaughlin will be without Willie Faloon who injured his shoulder in training two weeks ago and will undergo surgery this Thursday to repair a torn rotator cuff.
Dan Tuohy injured a hamstring during Friday’s game against the Dragons but is named in the initial squad and will hope to get the all clear from an MRI scan. Internationals Paddy Wallace, Stephen Ferris, Andrew Trimble and BJ Botha remain sidelined through injury.
McLaughlin has been boosted by Luke Marshall’s return to training after a wrist injury and he may feature if required on Friday night.
Heineken Cup finalists Leinster are possibly the form side in Europe at present and they have not been defeated at the RDS this season. Leinster travelled to Ravenhill in December and won 30-13 and then emerged with the double as they won 34-26 at RDS last month.
ULSTER SQUAD FORWARDS
Jerry Cronin, Tom Court, Paddy McAllister, Declan Fitzpatrick, Rory Best, Nigel Brady, Andi Kyriacou, Dan Tuohy, Johann Muller, Neil McComb, Tim Barker, Pedrie Wannenburg, TJ Anderson, Ali Birch, Chris Henry, Robbie Diack.
ULSTER SQUAD BACKS
Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys, Patrick Jackson, Ian Whitten, Luke Marshall, Nevin Spence, Darren Cave, Mark McCrea, Simon Danielli, Tommy Seymour, Craig Gilroy, Conor Gaston, Jamie Smith, Adam D’Arcy.