Saturday 17 March 2018

Injury fears for ferris

ULSTER coach Brian McLaughlin is hoping the injury sustained by Stephen Ferris in Saturday's 15-15 draw with Connacht does not prove serious as the province bid to continue their impressive start to the season, writes Hugh Farrelly.

Ulster have amassed 14 points from four Magners League outings but the departure of Ferris after just 10 minutes of action at the Sportsground was an ominous sight for McLaughlin and Ireland coach Declan Kidney, given the flanker's history with injuries.

"Stephen got a bit of a bang on a rib and we'll just have to wait and see," said McLaughlin. "BJ Botha got a bang on a hand too. It was a very physical game and that's why we have tried to increase our squad."

Last year, Ferris injured his knee when he was considered a Test certainty on the Lions tour to South Africa and this year he missed Ireland's summer tour to New Zealand and Australia after fracturing his cheekbone.

Ulster face Glasgow Warriors on Friday night, when McLaughlin will be hoping to hand his big-money South African signing Ruan Pienaar his debut in front of the Ravenhill fans. If Ferris is ruled out of that match, McLaughlin could call on Willie Faloon or Robbie Diack to slot into the back row.

Irish Independent

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