Tuesday 22 August 2017

Ultan Dillane returns to training ahead of Champions Cup play-off decider with Northampton

1 March 2017; Ultan Dillane of Connacht during squad training at the Sportsground in Galway. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
1 March 2017; Ultan Dillane of Connacht during squad training at the Sportsground in Galway. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland second-row Ultan Dillane will return to Connacht training this week ahead of the province's Champions Cup play-off decider with the Northampton Saints on Saturday.

Dillane has been sidelined since the start of March after undergoing surgery to address an ongoing shoulder issue, with the initial prognosis indicating that the 23-year-old would miss the rest of Connacht's season as well as Ireland's upcoming summer tour of Japan and the USA.

The Kerry native will most likely miss next month's tour after he was overlooked by Ireland coach Joe Schmidt on Tuesday afternoon when the New Zealander announced his 31-man tour squad, with uncapped locks James Ryan (Leinster) and Kieran Treadwell (Ulster) both selected ahead of Dillane.

However, while he may not spend his summer touring with the national team, the explosive second-row could be in line to return for Connacht's Champions Cup play-off decider with Northampton this weekend, with Dillane joining Peter Robb (hip), Niyi Adeolokun (hamstring) and Matt Healy (hand) in the group of players set to return to Connacht training this week.

Meanwhile South African fly-half Marnitz Boshoff continues to work his way back from a head injury as he progresses through the return to play protocols, while lock Andrew Browne (calf), centre Tom Farrell (groin) and centre Shane O’Leary (foot) will continue to be monitored by medical staff before they will be permitted to make a return to training.

Connacht will take on Northampton from 4pm on Saturday with the game to broadcast live on TG4.

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