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Olding a doubt for Ireland's summer tour after 'significant' ankle injury

The 24-year-old will see a specialist today, Ulster confirmed.

ULSTER CENTRE STUART Olding is a doubt for Ireland’s tour of the US and Japan in June after the province confirmed that the 24-year-old will see a specialist today following an ankle injury.

Ulster have described the issue – sustained just after coming off the bench against the Ospreys last weekend – as “significant” and said that the specialist visit today will allow Olding and the province to decide on further management of the injury.

Ireland’s Stuart Olding Olding started twice for Ireland last summer. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

It caps a frustrating season for the versatile back, who suffered with a hip problem earlier in the campaign and has been limited to just 12 starts for Ulster.

Olding’s international career has also been put on hold since he started two Tests at inside centre on last summer’s tour of South Africa. Having recovered his fitness, Olding did train with Ireland towards the end of the Six Nations this year, but his latest injury may deny him a chance to muscle back into Joe Schmidt’s plans in the US and Japan.

Schmidt has long been a fan of Olding’s footwork and playmaking ability but the Ulsterman has won just four caps so far in a career that has involved several heavy injury setbacks.

Olding will hope for good news from the specialist today, but he will definitely miss Ulster’s final game of the season against Leinster in the Guinness Pro12 at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday.

There is better news around the fitness of Stuart McCloskey [left thigh haematoma], Charles Piutau [elbow hyperextension] and Chris Henry [calf tear], who the province are hopeful will be available for the inter-provincial clash.

Scrum-half Ruan Pienaar is also expected to overcome a back spasm issue to feature in what will be his final game for the province before a summer move to Top 14 side Montpellier.

Definitely missing for the last game of the campaign are Marcell Coetzee, Jared Payne, Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Rob Lyttle, Clive Ross, Lorcan Dow, Johnny Simpson, Matthew Rea and Johnny McPhillips.

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Murray Kinsella

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