Tuesday 23 January 2018

Wallace a doubt for Ospreys clash

Hugh Farrelly

PADDY WALLACE and Willie Falloon have been included in Ulster's squad ahead of their Magners League meeting with the Ospreys, but both players remain a doubt for Friday night's clash in Ravenhill.

Ireland centre Wallace damaged his ankle and open-side Falloon took a blow to his shoulder during Ulster's 15-10 victory over Munster last weekend. Falloon's fellow back-rows Stephen Ferris and David Pollock have been receiving treatment for ankle injuries.

As a result, Brian McLaughlin has named Neil McCombe in his squad, as well as adding Pollock, Clinton Schifcofske, Bryan Young, Jonny Shiels and Darren Cave to the panel that overcame the league champions.

McLaughlin will give his injured contingent every opportunity to recover before naming his match-day 22 tomorrow.

The coach knows his side will have to be at their best to deal with the second-placed Ospreys who, even with their own injury problems, will bring a powerful side to Belfast.

"We have to make sure we are up for the game; we have to compete and we have to make sure we beat them," said McLaughlin.

"We have to go to town with them up front and show that we are more than capable of dealing with them. Although we gained victory over Ospreys at the start of the season, we all know not to underestimate them. Ospreys are a dangerous side; we need to ensure we give them nothing to play with.

"It's a matter of us holding onto the ball and making the best use of any chances we have. We must put them under pressure. It's vital for our Magners League campaign that we win our home games."

Ulster need a victory to maintain their top-four play-off ambitions. They lie sixth in the table, three points behind Munster in fourth and eight behind leaders Glasgow.

Irish Independent

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