Thursday 25 December 2014

Wing wizard Gilroy plans repeat dose in Ulster clash with Scarlets

Published 29/11/2012 | 05:00

Craig Gilroy

Ireland's newest wing wizard Craig Gilroy will start on the left wing for Ulster in their top-of-the-table clash with Llanelli Scarlets on Sunday evening.

The 21-year-old winger, who scored Ireland's opening try in their rout of Argentina, was offered the option of taking a rest this weekend after his exploits with the national side, but he turned down boss Mark Anscombe's offer.

Tommy Bowe has also opted for an immediate return to club action and he will start Sunday's game on the bench with Andrew Trimble afforded an opportunity to impress on the right wing.

Bowe will be joined among the replacements by captain Johann Muller and Ireland hooker Rory Best, as both have recovered from thumb and neck injuries respectively.

Flanker Chris Henry, Paddy Wallace and Jared Payne are rested this weekend, while Stephen Ferris and Nick Williams are ruled out through injury.

With Kiwi Payne getting his first break since the start of the season, Dungannon's Peter Nelson, who scored the only try in the victory over Treviso last week, gets another run at full-back, with Darren Cave and Luke Marshall in midfield, while Paddy Jackson will return to partner Paul Marshall at half-back.

With the a trip to Franklin's Gardens the following week, a third victory over a Welsh team would see Ulster open up a 10-point gap at the top of the table coming into an important part of the season.

"The focus on December is going to be the defining moment of our campaign," said Anscombe.

"We have worked extremely hard to get ourselves in a good spot in the Pro12 and we certainly do not want to come out of it. That is important, as we are not even halfway through the season yet.

"Of course, December is also going to be the defining moment in the Heineken Cup with Northampton home and away.

"We have set out targets in how we come out of Christmas and we certainly don't want to waste what we have done. We have given ourselves a great launching pad with great momentum," Anscombe added.

Irish Independent

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