Humphreys fights to make Ulster farewell

RUGBY legend David Humphreys is battling to be fit for his final game with Ulster at Ravenhill tomorrow night.

Humphreys is troubled by an Achilles tendon injury but coach Matt Williams hopes the out-half can play some role in the final Magners League game of the season against Cardiff.

Said Williams: “David is an iconic figure in Ulster and Irish rugby. I hope he gets out on Friday night and hope the people of Ulster turn up to say thank-you for a remarkable career. At the minute it is in his own hands. If the Achilles problem recovers sufficiently enough by today, then he will start. He will not appear as a cameo just to wave to the crowd. I intend to play him for the whole 80 minutes if I can.”

Williams has also included scrumhalf Paul Marshall, the fit-again Stephen Ferris and flanker David Pollock for the Ravenhill finale.

“Cardiff are the powerhouse of Welsh rugby, European Cup quarter-finalists and fighting for second place in the Mangers League they will be a handful. They may be missing a number of Welsh internationals but they have such a powerful squad that it will matter little. A win would be a great sendoff for our players who are going to pastures new next season.”

Champions Leinster have included Brian O’Driscoll, Shane Horgan, Girvan Dempsey, Luke Fitzgerald, Bernard Jackman, Trevor Hogan, Malcolm O’Kelly and Shane Jennings in their squad for tomorrow’s meeting with the Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade (7.10pm).

Wallaby international Chris Whitaker is also included along with Kevin McLaughlin and Michael Berne, who impressed with the Leinster ‘A’ team in recent weeks. The team will be named later today.

Connacht coach Michael Bradley has named a 26-man squad for their final game at the Sportsground against the Ospreys (tomorrow, 6.30pm).

Conor O’Loughlin has recovered from his shoulder injury while Galwegians duo Brian McGovern and Andrew Browne are also included.

CONNACHT squad v Ospreys: A Browne, M Deane, G Duffy, A Dunne, A Farley, A Flavin, J Fogarty, D Gannon, R Loughney, K Matthews, M McCarthy, B McGovern, C McPhillips, R Morris, M Mostyn, J Muldoon, T Nathan, J O’Connor, R Ofisa, C O’Loughlin, C Rigney, D Riordan, R Shaw, O Treviranus, B Wilkinson, D Yapp.

ULSTER squad v Cardiff: (Forwards): J Fitzpatrick, R Best, T Court, J Harrison, C Del Fava, M McCullough, N Brady, B Young, N Best, K Dawson, S Ferris, R Caldwell, R Wilson, D Pollock.

(Backs): P Marshall, P Wallace, N O’Connor, A Trimble, T Bowe, M Bartholomeusz, I Boss, R Dewey, M McCrea, S Danielli, D Humphreys.

LEINSTER squad v Newport Gwent Dragons (Forwards): C Healy, R McCormack, B Blaney, B Jackman, J Francisco Gomez, S Knoop, T Hogan, C Jowitt, M O’Kelly, D Toner, S Jennings, S Keogh, R Leyden, K McLaughlin.

(Backs): C Keane, C Whitaker, J Sexton, C Warner, L Fitzgerald, M Berne, B O’Driscoll, G Brown, S Horgan, G Dempsey.


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