3 Ireland World Cup players set to feature for home side in Belfast against Munster…

Ulster coach Dan McFarland anticipates the availability of Ireland World Cup players for their upcoming United Rugby Championship home game against Munster in Belfast.

This group includes Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Stuart McCloskey, and Tom O’Toole, all of whom were part of the Irish World Cup squad in France. While O’Toole is expected to undergo surgery, McFarland believes that the other members of the Irish squad will be in contention to participate.

McFarland pointed out, “It’s the end of the three weeks the internationals have to take off,” referring to the mandatory rest period for international players. He mentioned that these players would be eligible for selection in the following week’s game.

This news comes after Ulster’s heartbreaking 22-20 loss to Connacht, despite initially leading the match 20-3 early in the second half. Ulster is facing a number of challenges, with players like James Hume, James French, and Reuben Crothers ruled out for the Munster game due to head injuries. Additionally, Will Addison had to withdraw from the Connacht game at the last minute due to a hamstring issue.

Furthermore, Ulster was already dealing with a series of injuries, with players like O’Toole, Cormac Izuchukwu, Dave Ewers, Robert Baloucoune, Jacob Stockdale, Michael Lowry, and Jude Postlethwaite all sidelined after sustaining injuries in a previous match.

McFarland mentioned, “I don’t know about Will. There are a few other guys who might come back,” acknowledging the current injury challenges and the uncertainty regarding player availability for the upcoming game.

Despite the setbacks, McFarland found some positives in the defeat, particularly praising fly-half Jake Flannery’s performance, which included scoring 15 points, including a well-executed try. He also highlighted the contributions of debutants Joe Hopes and Ben Carson and expressed sympathy for Reuben Crothers, who had to leave the game early due to injury but is expected to have a bright future in the sport.

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