Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Ulster scrum-half John Cooney.
# Blow
John Cooney to miss Ulster's Champions Cup clash with Northampton Saints
The scrum-half suffered a calf injury during the URC defeat to Munster.

ULSTER HAVE CONFIRMED that John Cooney will not be available for this weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup meeting with Northampton Saints.

The scrum-half – who recently signed a new contract with Ulster – suffered a calf injury in the first half of last weekend’s defeat to Munster at Thomond Park, and has not recovered in time for Sunday’s trip to Franklin’s Gardens.

In better news for the province, James Hume has not yet been ruled out after he limped out against Munster with a hamstring issue.

Robert Baloucoune is also back in training as he steps up his recovery from a shoulder problem.

In total Ulster currently have 10 players unavailable due to injury, with Cooney now sidelined alongside Will Addison (lower leg) Iain Henderson (ankle) Stuart McCloskey (hamstring) Tom Stewart (foot) Jacob Stockdale (ankle) Cormac Izuchukwu (knee) Jordi Murphy (knee) Matty Rea (hamstring) and Luke Marshall (knee).

Ulster are two wins from two in Europe this season, having won away to Clermont in round one of the Champions Cup before recording a 27-22 win over Northampton in Belfast.

The province have also announced that defence coach Jared Payne is set to leave his role at the end of the season. 


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