Moore hit with further World Cup setback
Marty Moore's World Cup hopes suffered another setback when he was made unavailable for Leinster's pre-season friendly against Ulster tonight (7.30).
The tighthead prop is recovering from surgery to his shoulder, and having missed the first two warm-up internationals, he is running out of opportunities to prove his fitness to Joe Schmidt. Leinster had expected him to be released to play at Ravenhill but it is understood that he has not been passed fit.
Although he established himself as back-up No 3 to clubmate Mike Ross during the Six Nations, he is in danger of being overtaken in the pecking order by Nathan White and missing out on the World Cup altogether. Schmidt is likely to take two specialist tightheads, two specialist looseheads plus a prop who can play on either side of the scrum, probably Michael Bent.
Schmidt has made three Ulster players available: centre Darren Cave and wing Craig Gilroy both start for the hosts, with Dan Tuohy on an extended 18-man bench.
New Leinster coach Leo Cullen has challenged his emerging players to put their hand up during the World Cup window - starting tonight - with so many established first-teamers on international duty.
"I have faith in the guys that are going to run out there," he said. "I am very optimistic about bringing some of these players through.
"If we don't get the benefit of it in terms of results straight away we will hopefully get the benefit of it from them in terms of experience and how they contribute for the remainder of the season. It is really, really important that these players capture the chance that they have."
Cullen will not name his team until today as he waits to hear which Ireland players have been made available.
Ulster - J Owens; C Gilroy, D Cave, L Marshall, P Nelson; I Humphreys, P Marshall; R Murphy, R Herring (capt), W Herbst; P Browne, F van der Merwe; C Ross, S Reidy, R Diack. Reps: A Warwick, J Andrew, R Lutton, B Ross, A O'Connor, D Tuohy, C Joyce, F Taggart, W Faloon, S Mullholland, P Rowley, D Shanahan, S Windsor, J Stockdale, S McCloskey, S Arnold, L Ludik, M Best.
Leinster - TBA