After a disappointing outing for Ireland in the Six Nations defeat to Scotland on Sunday, 21-year-old flyhalf Paddy Jackson could return to provincial duty this weekend having been included in the provisional Ulster squad for Friday’s meeting with Treviso at Ravenhill (7.05pm).
Fellow Ireland squad members Iain Henderson and Declan Fitzpatrick have also been named in Mark Anscombe’s 25-man squad after missing last week’s game against Glasgow.
Ulster remain top of the PRO12 table despite last week’s defeat. They have a three-point advantage over second place Glasgow Warriors going into round 17 matches.
Extended Ulster squad (v Treviso):
Forwards (14): Rob Herring, Nigel Brady, Niall Annett, Ricky Lutton, Declan Fitzpatrick, Callum Black, John Afoa, Neil McComb, Lewis Stevenson, Iain Henderson, Dan Tuohy, Mike McComish, Ali Birch, Robbie Diack.
Backs (11): Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall, Michael Heaney, Niall O’Connor, Stuart Olding, Paddy Jackson, Michael Allen, Andrew Trimble, Chris Cochrane, Darren Cave, Ricky Andrew.