Trimble finger surgery could upset Ulster Heineken plans

RABO DIRECT PRO12:

Trimble finger surgery could upset Ulster Heineken plans

Trimble picked up the injury in last week’s defeat to the Dragons and his place in this evening’s RaboDirect Pro12 home date with Glasgow is taken by David McIlwaine, who switches from the left with Michael Allen coming onto the right wing from the bench.

Coach Mark Anscombe has made five personnel changes and gives exiting scrum-half prospect Ian Porter his first Pro12 start in tandem with fly-half Paddy Jackson. Porter is also a high duty goal-kicker and features against a vibrant Warriors outfit along with No 8 Nick Williams, tight head Declan Fitzpatrick and openside Sean Doyle, who get their first starts of the season, while Roger Wilson moves to blind side.

The other positional switch sees Ireland centre Luke Marshall moving inside to wear the No 12 jersey with Darren Cave in the outside channel. This will be Marshall’s fourth start this season, including two friendlies, and he says he was slightly nervous at the outset following a series of bangs to the head last April.

The chunky Ireland centre said he was also reminded of going into contact after reading the coroner’s report last week on the death in January 2011 of 14-year-old Carrickfergus Grammar rugby player Ben Robinson, whose death was the first in the North to be put down to ‘Second Impact Syndrome’.

“I didn’t know too much about the case, although I did remember it at the time. But yes, after listening to the corner’s report, it was a bit scary for me, and it was so sad as well. It was just such an unfortunate situation.”

Marshall had received three bouts of concussion, two in successive Six Nations games against France and Italy, and another during the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Saracens last April. He was treated expertly through all the IRB concussion protocols by the IRFU and Ulster medical teams and subsequently given the summer off.

“It wasn’t too bad during pre-season when I did a bit of contact work, although I felt a bit wary a few hours before the kick-off to the pre-season friendly against Leinster. I said to myself ‘what if I get another bash here and the lights go out again?’ and that made me a little nervous. But once I got in a few hits I was fine,” said the 22-year-old from Ballymoney, who believes wearing a scrum-cap does not necessarily prevent concussion.

“I asked a few of the doctors about a scrum-cap and they said that medical research into it shows that it doesn’t actually help as the it’s the brain itself that is shaken inside the skull.

“My injuries were strange in that after I was knocked out cold, I didn’t have any symptoms like dizziness, headaches or sickness. I had none of that after the game nor the following week. I felt fine training afterwards.

“Now I feel good since I’ve had a few games under my belt and come through unscathed. I even had a few knocks to the head but felt nothing,” said Marshall.

ULSTER: J Payne, D McIlwaine, D Cave, L Marshall, M Allen, P Jackson, I Porter; C Black, R Herring, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (Capt), D Tuohy, R Wilson, S Doyle, N Williams.

Replacements: N Annett, T Court, R Lutton, I Henderson, C Henry, P Marshall, J McKinney, R Andrew.

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