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Fractured Cheekbone Sidelines Gilroy

Fractured Cheekbone Sidelines Gilroy

Ahead of Ulster’s crucial Champions Cup final round clash with Wasps in Coventry, the province’s medical team have issued the following squad update.

Craig Gilroy suffered a fractured cheekbone during last Saturday’s round 5 win over La Rochelle. He underwent successful surgery today to have a plate inserted.

John Andrew was replaced during the Ulster ‘A’ team’s British & Irish Cup victory over Cornish Pirates last Friday night due to a concussion, and will undergo the return-to-play protocols.

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Meanwhile, fellow front rower Wiehahn Herbst continues to recover from a calf injury he sustained against Leinster last time out in the GUINNESS PRO14. He will be monitored throughout the week to assess his availability for Sunday’s game against Wasps.

Tommy Bowe, who has announced his decision to retire at the end of the season, injured his sternoclavicular joint in the same match against Leinster on January 6. It is responding well to treatment and it is hoped that Bowe will return to full training in the next three to four weeks.

The Ulster squad’s other ongoing injuries are Marcell Coetzee (knee), David Busby (calf), Paul Marshall (calf), Robbie Diack (back), Brett Herron (knee), Jared Payne (headaches), Jonny Simpson (wrist) and Schalk van der Merwe (ankle).

Looking forward to the final round of European matches with Ulster now top of Pool 1, captain Rory Best said: “It’s going to be tough against Wasps, they’re another quality side. That’s what you get in Europe, the new format from a couple of years ago has gotten rid of a couple of the weaker sides, and every week and every game is a tough ask.

“We see the effort that goes in during the week, and sometimes it doesn’t translate onto the pitch which is frustrating for us because we’re all professional guys and competitive guys. I think when you get it transferred onto the pitch and you get performances like that (the win over La Rochelle), there’s a really nice feeling and ultimately that is why you play rugby.

“We rolled the sleeves up again on Monday morning, preparing for another massive task on Sunday. We came back into Europe this month knowing that two wins (over La Rochelle and Wasps) would really put us in a strong position to qualify, so we’ve one down and we’ll probably have to produce a better performance again to win in Coventry.”