Planet Rugby

Vunipola to return against Ulster?

02nd April 2014 09:08

Share:

Billy Vunipola

Billy Vunipola: Could return sooner than expected

Saracens boss Mark McCall has revealed that England number eight Billy Vunipola could face Ulster in Saturday's Heineken Cup quarter-final at Ravenhill.

Vunipola sustained an ankle injury in England's Six Nations clash against Ireland in February and there were fears he would be sidelined until later in the season.

But McCall said he could be fit to return to action this weekend.

"We'll make a decision later in the week," said McCall.

"If Billy plays it'll be because he's fit to play. We won't take a risk with any player."

McCall expects a fierce battle as Ulster host their first European play-off match at the newly expanded Ravenhill.

"They would say it's the biggest home game in their history," he said.

"They've had three away quarter-finals but this is their first home quarter-final and I gather they could have sold out many times over. People are talking of nothing else.

"They're going to be favourites but we'll go with a good plan and will be well prepared."

Ulster also have some injury concerns with Springbok scrum-half Ruan Pienaar battling to overcome a shoulder injury. But Ulster boss Mark Anscombe is optimistic he will be ready to face Sarries.

"Ruan is progressing pretty well, so we are hopeful he'll be all right," Mark Anscombe, the Ulster head coach, told the Times.

"He is a special player. He has a lot of experience, he's a big-match player and he's got the temperament you need in these games to keep your composure."

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
Saturday , December 6
Sale vs Saracens13:00
Munster vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Harlequins vs LeinsterTBC
Leicester vs ToulonTBC
Ulster vs ScarletsTBC
Montpellier vs BathTBC
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
Sunday , October 19
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster28
2Saracens25
3Sale Sharks11
4Clermont Auvergne11
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster14
2Harlequins14
3Wasps11
4Castres10
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon28
2Scarlets24
3Leicester Tigers24
4Ulster21
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Glasgow Warriors29
2Toulouse28
3Montpellier22
4Bath21
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton25
2Ospreys25
3Racing Metro Paris14
4Treviso10