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Published: 22:47 | 13/9/18

Jordi Murphy ankle injury "not long-term"

Ulster flanker Jordi Murphy's ankle ligament injury is "not long term", according to head coach Dan McFarland.

The Ireland international sustained the injury during Ulster's 30-29 win over Edinburgh at the Kingspan Stadium last Friday, although he stayed on the field until the end of the game.

Fellow Ireland internationals Rory Best, Jacob Stockdale, Luke Marshall and Marty Moore will miss Sunday's Pro 14 match against Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth through injury, but Springbok Jean Deysel is likely to make his first appearance of the season at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

British and Irish Lion Iain Henderson misses the trip under the IRFU's player-management programme.

"It's a loss not having Jordi but we’ve got some good back rowers," McFarland said ahead of Sunday's match, which will be shown live on eir sport 2 [coverage starts 1.10pm].

Following Sunday's match in Eastern Cape, the Ulster squad travel to Bloemfontein to take on the Cheetahs at Toyota Stadium on Friday, 21 September.

The 30-man panel comprises 13 backs and 17 forwards.

"I'm comfortable with the fact we're taking a squad that can cope with that [two matches in five days]," McFarland continued.

"I think the difficulty comes when you leave yourselves a little thin over there, when you train as a group for a certain length of time and then at the last minute you having to bring people out there.

"So I'm hoping we'll have that we’ll have that covered but you can never say never.

"Obviously there's a limit on what you can do feasibly, so yeah, it certainly makes it difficult.

"In terms of the planning side of things, we'll go with a team that we feel can beat the Kings and we'll take a look at it going into the Cheetahs game, depending on how the guys rock up the following week." 

McFarland has made three changes to the side that beat Edinburgh, with Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor and Sean Reidy coming into the pack.

Ulster sit joint top of Conference B alongside Benetton Treviso, following their wins over Scarlets and Edinburgh.

Ulster: W Addison; C Gilroy, D Cave, S McCloskey, H Speight; B Burns, J Cooney; A Warwick, R Herring (capt), T O’Toole, A O’Connor, K Treadwell, M Coetzee, S Reidy, N Timoney. Replacements: A McBurney, E O’Sullivan, W Herbst, J Deysel, M Rea, D Shanahan, A Curtis, A Kernohan.

Southern Kings: Michael Botha, Yaw Penxe, Harlon Klassen, Berton Klassen, Bjorn Basson, Masixole Banda, Godlen Masimla; Schalk Ferreira, Michael Willemse (capt), Luvuyo Pupuma, Schalk Oelofse, John-Charles Astle, Stephan De Wit, Martinus Burger, Andisa Ntsila. Replacements: Alandre Van Rooyen, Xandre Vos, Justin Forwood, Bobby De Wee, Ruaan Lerm, Rudi van Rooyen, Martin Du Toit, Ntabeni Dukisa.

Ulster's next Pro 14 clash against Southern Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth is live on eir sport 2 this Sunday, 16 September [coverage starts 1.10pm].

Image: Inpho/ Bryan Keane

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