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McLaughlin Focussing on PRO12

Guinness PRO12 Editor

2 May 2012

After Saturday’s historic Heineken Cup semi final win over Edinburgh, Ulster have turned their attentions back to the RaboDirect PRO12 and the trip to Thomond Park to take on Inter-pro rivals Munster.

Head Coach Brian McLaughlin said: “The mood in the camp has been fantastic this week. We are back in training and the standard has been high as we prepare for Munster on Saturday. It is always a difficult place to go and Munster will put everything into winning the PRO12. It is another vital match for us.”

Going into the last round of fixtures, Ulster need to register a bonus point win and hope Glasgow and Scarlets pick up nothing from their games, if they are to reach the PRO12 play off for the second successive year. McLaughlin is fully aware that the chances of progression are slim:

“We have to be honest; it’s a long shot now with one game remaining. But we did a great job in Limerick a few weeks ago in the quarter final and we will approach the game with the same mindset. We have proved Ulster can do a job no matter where we play. We need to get a win and hope that other results are favourable so it’s not ideal.”

Chris Henry, who suffered an ankle injury against Leinster two weeks ago, is once again ruled out of contention for Saturday. With Johann Muller, Stephen Ferris and Ruan Pienaar picking up knocks in the Edinburgh clash, the Ulster coach says there could be some changes to his squad for Saturday.

“There’s no way Chris will be fit this weekend; he’s improving greatly but there is still a little bit to go. Quite a few of the others have plenty of bumps and bruises after a very physical game against Edinburgh. We are very happy with the injury list; it’s not as bad as it could be.The team will depend on how fit people are. We will continue to assess people and get the final injury report before selection. A number of players have played a lot of rugby this year so it’s important they are managed well,” concluded McLaughlin.