Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin is confident he has ready-made replacements to cover the absent Paddy Wallace who is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The Ulstermen will be without the injured Ireland centre for up to eight weeks after he underwent surgery to damaged tendons in his left thumb, an injury picked up against Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup.
It is a bitter blow for the Irish side who will now lose the versatile world cup star for a large chunk of their RaboDirect PRO 12 assault.
However, McLaughlin is adamant his squad has adequate strength in depth to cope with Wallace’s absence.
He said: “To lose Paddy is a blow. After the World Cup he came back itching to play and it’s very unfortunate for him.
“But in Nevin Spence we have an able replacement and we have no doubts he a can do an excellent job for us.
“We are very fortunate to have a lot of depth in that area with Ian Whitten and also Luke Marshall who is making his way back from injury.”