Luke Marshall in Ulster squad for South Africa after over year out

McFarland picks Ireland internationals for tour while Jenkins returns for Munster

Ulster have included their Ireland internationals in the touring party for their matches against the Stormers and the Bulls in South Africa.

Captain Iain Henderson, Michael Lowry, Rob Herring, Kieran Treadwell and Nick Timoney all headed to Cape Town on Monday with the 33-man squad for the two United Rugby Championship fixtures.

Inside centre Luke Marshall has also been included after returning to full training after more than a year out with a knee injury. Tighthead prop Tom O'Toole has recovered from a hamstring injury to make the squad, but secondrow Sam Carter is unavailable due to recent Covid-19 infection.

The itinerary for Dan McFarland's side begins with the Stormers clash on Saturday at 1pm Irish time, before they head to Pretoria to face the Bulls on April 2nd.

Munster

Meanwhile, Craig Casey, Gavin Coombes and Jeremy Loughman all returned to Munster training this week. They will be available for selection for the visit of Benetton Treviso to Musgrave Park on Friday evening.

Tadhg Beirne, Dave Kilcoyne, Peter O'Mahony, Conor Murray and Joey Carbery are unlikely to feature having played for Ireland against Scotland.

South African lock Jason Jenkins has returned to full training following an injury to his abdomen. The Leinster-bound forward is in line for just his second appearance of the season.

However, it was not all good news on the injury front with fullback Mike Haley ruled out for a few weeks by a knee injury picked up in the defeat to the Lions last weekend. Andrew Conway is also being managed due to knee niggle.

The club said in statement on their website that Thomas Ahern (thigh), Keith Earls (thigh) and Roman Salanoa (ankle) were all targeting a return to training next week ahead of the Thomond Park meeting with Leinster. RG Snyman (knee), Jack Daly (ankle), James French (knee), Liam O'Connor (knee) remain out longer term.

Simon Bracken

Simon Bracken

Simon Bracken is a journalist at The Irish Times

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