Fears grow for future of Payne as Ulster confirm headaches persist
The career of Jared Payne remains in doubt as Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss revealed he is still suffering from headaches that have kept him out of action since June.
The Ireland back's Lions tour was curtailed early as a result of migraines and, having consulted with specialists on both sides of the border since then, his province remain adamant that the problem is not concussion-related.
Kiss is optimistic that the New Zealand-born star, who has played 20 times for Ireland and whose central contract expires at the end of the season, will play again but could not put a time-frame on his return.
"It's not a concussive episode," Kiss told the BBC.
"It's another episode with the head and the neck and Jared is getting headaches after hard work.
"We have to work slowly but surely and patiently to get him to a point where he is right again.
"It's certainly frustrating and not ideal for Jared, we'll do the best we can for him to make sure he is right.
"We won't do anything until he has had a week of freedom (from headaches) from his responses after training. We're very optimistic about where he'll end up and hopefully things will work out in the near future."
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Meanwhile, Wallaby out-half Christian Leali'ifano has confirmed that he will return to Australia in January.
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