Saturday 25 February 2017

McLaughlin set to drop below-par Humphreys

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin is poised to move Springbok scrum-half Ruan Pienaar into the No 10 jersey with Paul Marshall as his half-back partner for Friday's Pro12 clash with the Ospreys at Ravenhill.

Regular out-half Ian Humphreys had a nightmare in the defeat to the Cardiff Blues last week.

If McLaughlin does go down that road, it would be Marshall's first start since early December.

Better news for McLaughlin is that Pedrie Wannenburg was back to full training yesterday and will be considered for a starting place following a three-week absence with a foot injury.

McLaughlin is expected to name Willie Faloon and skipper Chris Henry in the back-row. Paddy McAllister, who has fully recovered from injury, is likely to start at loose-head in place of Tom Court. Nevin Spence will play, despite a slight shoulder problem.

McLaughlin, meanwhile, is hoping that Ulster discipline improves after they felt the force of Irish referee George Clancy's whistle in Cardiff.

"Most of the penalties against us were when we had possession of the ball," he lamented. "We have worked on that this week."

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