Marshall ready to lay down the law with his unique free-spirited attitude
Kidney’s decision took making, his faith in took believing. Easier options than Marshall were available and while he has entered the rugby psyche as a chancy pick he was always approaching from a long way out. The God-fearing regulars at Ravenhill have been claiming him as a redeemer for some time and even Les Kiss, Kidney’s assistant, was bathing him in flattery last November.
“He can pass the ball well, he can pass short and long,” said Kiss. “He has good footwork, and as Gert (Smal) and I recognised often from when we’ve gone up to watch Ulster play or train, he carries his body weight well. Luke is a good solid lad, plus his agility is nice. Usually when we talk about agility, it is in attack but his agility in defence is very good too.”
On Sunday he will be out of the bag and in the court of public opinion. But the Irish camp has been a comfortable place for him. He has opened eyes there.
“I didn’t realise how talented Luke was. Myself and Kearns (Rob Kearney) were talking about him at training the other day,” said Keith Earls earlier this week.
And Marshall, he just wants his hands on the ball. “I like to make a few decisions, take the heat off the outhalf,” he said. He doesn’t say much but it sings.
Ferris likely tomiss rest of series More ankle worrries
Stephen Ferris’s ongoing ankle injury now appears likely to keep him sidelined for the remainder of the Six Nations championship and he may also be unavailable for Ulster’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Saracens on April 6th.
If the 27-year-old fails to get back to match fitness soon, a place on the Lions squad for their summer tour to Australia may also be in jeopardy.
The Ulster flanker underwent surgery in December to repair ankle tendon damage sustained in a RaboDirect Pro12 match against Edinburgh.
He was reviewed on Tuesday as part of his ongoing rehabilitation programme. But during the review it was discovered that, although he had made excellent progress, some minor issues remain.
As a result, the specialist medical staff treating him are considering several options to ensure that he makes a “full and complete return to play”, an Ulster statement explained yesterday.
No specific details were revealed but the problem is not believed to be career-threatening. A decision on a course of action will be made in the coming weeks.