ULSTER’S RISING STAR at centre, Luke Marshall, will undergo surgery on the finger he fractured in Friday’s 47-17 win over Scarlets. the province have confirmed today.
The 21-year-old was replaced by Paddy Wallace at half time of the top-of-the-table clash and was one of three injury concerns arising from the game.
Marshall will now be out of action for four to six weeks, a time-frame which rules him out of contention for Ulster’s next RaboDirect Pro12 fixture against Ospreys in February, and also erases the slim hope he had of playing a part in Ireland’s opening two Six Nations clashes.
Fullback Adam D’Arcy was also forced out of the game early, scans this week have shown the Australian fractured his ankle. No return date will be set for D’Arcy until he consults a specialist later this week.
Although both players have largely acted in a back-up capacity this season, Marshall has proved influential coming off the bench on numerous occasions. As a fullback, D’Arcy has been stuck behind the in-form Jared Payne, but he too is a doubt for this weekend’s Heineken Cup meeting with Glasgow.
While D’Arcy and Marshall are left out, Payne is joined in the 27 strong squad (which you can see here) by Dan Tuohy. Both will be given every chance of being fit for European action, though the second row suffered a recurrence of a calf injury.
Ulster currently sit top of Heineken Cup Pool 4, but their lead was whittled down to three points before Christmas and another home defeat would leave their hope of a return to the European Cup final in tatters.