Injury concerns for Ulster
April 21, 2012
South African Pedrie Wannenburg was one of three front line players injured in Ulster's PRO12 defeat to Leinster © Getty Images
Ulster face an anxious wait to discover if injuries suffered by Chris Henry, Paddy Wallace and Pedrie Wannenburg during their RaboDirect PRO12 defeat to Leinster on Friday night will rule them out of next weekend's crucial Heineken Cup semi-final showdown with Edinburgh.
Coach Brian McLaughlin saw all three players forced out of his side's 16-8 home defeat that leaves their play-off hopes hanging by a thread. The trio would have been expected to feature strongly at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday when Ulster make only their second appearance in the final four of Europe's top club competition.
"They're with the doctors at the minute," McLaughlin said following the Ravenhill clash. "Chris Henry has got a bit of a bang on his shin and hopefully he'll be okay but he'll probably go for a precautionary x-ray. Paddy Wallace is just feeling sick so we're just keeping a check on that. He should be fine."
Wannenburg revealed he suffered a groin strain but told reporters after the game that he hoped to be fit for the Edinburgh fixture.
McLaughlin chose to rest Rory Best, Stephen Ferris and Dan Tuohy ahead of next weekend's semi-final but retained first-choice players Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Craig Gilroy, Ruan Pienaar and Johann Muller in addition to Henry, Wallace and Wannenburg while Declan Fitzpatrick made a welcome return at tight-head after a long lay-out through injury
"We wanted to come away here tonight with a win but we showed that we're more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the European champions," added McLaughlin. "We have to focus on a really tough game next week against Edinburgh and do our damndest to win to ensure we get another crack at them (Leinster). The only thing we think about now is what we do in the Aviva next Saturday."
Leinster boss Joe Schmidt was able to report no injury concerns as his side now switch their focus to their Heineken Cup semi-final clash with Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne a week on Sunday.
"We came through and it looks like they did as well, so that's great Irish news really. Both teams will be able to strip reasonably full strength next weekend...Now it's about chasing silverware and it's a hell of a tough task that awaits us next week, and I think both teams were looking ahead a little to next week."
Last night Clermont made it 42 home wins in a row by beating Montpellier 22-9. They got no injuries either. Both teams will be very strong next week and I just think the biggest winner is going to be European rugby because it's going to be a hell of a battle."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin