Derby Season

Connacht's incredible injury list easing before Ulster inter-pro clash

The westerners still have many players missing, but could welcome back eight for the 26 December fixture.

CONNACHT ARE HOPEFUL that at least eight of their injured players will prove their fitness in time for Saturday’s inter-provincial clash with Ulster.

Pat Lam’s men have been crippled by an incredibly long injury list in recent weeks, contributing towards the defeat to Newcastle in the Challenge Cup last weekend.

Kieran Marmion Connacht are hopeful Kieran Marmion will pass a fitness test this week. James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

However, Connacht head coach Lam is hopeful of welcoming Ronan Loughney, John Muldoon, James Connolly, Kieran Marmion, AJ MacGinty, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy and Tiernan O’Halloran back from injury this weekend.

Connacht face Ulster at the Sportsground on 26 December (KO 6pm, TG4), meaning the return of even some of the above would be extremely timely. All eight players will undertake fitness tests this week.

More negatively, three fresh injury concerns arose from last weekend’s defeat in Newcastle.

Hooker Jason Harris-Wright, who has had a tough time with injuries in recent seasons, sustained an upper back joint sprain and a rib cartilage strain against Newcastle and will be assessed before Lam names his team on Christmas Eve.

Wing Danie Poolman, who was a try scorer against the Falcons, also suffered a rib cartilage injury and is being monitored as his pain subsides.

Finally, 21-year-old academy centre Peter Robb was concussed during the Challenge Cup fixture and is currently going through the return-to-play protocols.

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