Sunday 18 March 2018

Ulster's Muller to miss Leinster tilt

Muller: ruled out
Muller: ruled out

Ulster's big lock Johann Muller is set to miss tomorrow's Magners League top-four clash against provincial rivals Leinster at the RDS because of a leg injury.

Although Muller is named in Ulster's 33-man panel, the deep bruising to the lower thigh he received in Sunday's Heineken Cup defeat against Northampton is unlikely to clear in time for the clash which sees second-placed Ulster take on the in-form team just below them.

Scotland winger Simon Danielli, who picked up a shoulder injury in that European quarter-final defeat, is also very doubtful for the derby game and a decision will be made about his fitness in the next 24 hours.

With coach Brian McLaughlin likely to field a team similar to the one that crashed out of Europe, Tim Barker will come in for Muller in the second-row, while Craig Gilroy is standing by to replace Danielli.

The only absentees from the panel are prop Declan Fitzpatrick and, of course, Stephen Ferris, who hopes to be back playing by the end of the season. Conor Gaston, Neil McComb and Tommy Seymour have been added.

"I don't think it will be difficult to get the boys up for this one. In fact, I know it won't," said McLaughlin whose disappointment at the loss to the Saints was obvious. "The players were gutted and they know they have a great chance to do well in the Magners and an opportunity to really show what they are made of. There is still a hell of a lot to come out of this team, there is no doubt about that.

"I have the utmost confidence in the players and the coaching staff to get back on the rails. We have worked exceptionally hard, and okay, we didn't get it right in the second half against Northampton, but we've come a long way and those are the points that we want to emphasise as we go back to Magners League."

Meanwhile, Ulster full-back Adam D'Arcy has signed a two-year extension to his current short-term contract while full-back Jamie Smith has signed a deal with Newport-Gwent Dragons.

Irish Independent

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