Sport Rugby

Monday 22 July 2019

Payne set for fly-half as Ferris forced to wait

Ulster are poised to play Jared Payne at fly-half in tomorrow night's rearranged Pro12 clash with Scarlets at Ravenhill which will host a sell-out 14,000 crowd.

It was thought Springbok Ruan Pienaar would be at 10 with Paul Marshall as his half-back partner, but the Ireland scrum-half took a bit of a battering playing for the Ravens against Leinster 'A' on Monday night and is unlikely to be considered.

Ravens fly-half James McKinney is another option, but it looks certain that Payne, who played 20 minutes against the Dragons two weeks ago in the No 10 jersey, will start the game at half-back.

While Tommy Bowe will again start on the right wing, Friday's game may be one game too soon for flanker Stephen Ferris.

While Ferris has recovered from his ankle surgery, he has picked up niggles in training having been out of action for 15 months. Ulster coach Mark Anscombe, off sick this week, has yet to make up his mind whether to give Ferris a 10-minute blast from the bench, or wait until the following week away to Edinburgh.

Ulster's assistant coach Neil Doak said: "There is still a chance he may get a run on Friday but, more than likely, it is a match too soon." Meanwhile, the club confirmed that Nick Williams has returned to training following an internal disciplinary process.

Irish Independent

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