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Henderson and Herring give Ulster fitness boost

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Ireland internationals Iain Henderson and Rob Herring are available to Ulster this week ahead of their Investec Champions Cup opener away to Bath on Saturday.

The pair have returned to full training following injury, with Henderson having sat out last weekend’s defeat to Edinburgh due to a hip issue, while Herring has missed the last two games with a calf injury.

Dan McFarland’s side will also be able to call upon out-half Jake Flannery and full-back Mike Lowry for the trip to The Rec, after the pair overcame respective groin and hip issues.

Will Addison is a doubt for the Pool 2 clash, with the versatile back following the return to play protocols for a concussion, while wing Ben Moxham is set to have a scan on a knee injury.

The province head into the Champions Cup off the back of successive defeats, both coming against Scottish opposition, with Ulster seventh in the BKT United Rugby Championship table.

Following Saturday’s home loss against Edinburgh, McFarland was critical of his own’s side’s preparations for the game, suggesting he wasn’t pleased with how they were performing in training.

Forwards coach Roddy Grant says it’s an issue that has been addressed.

“It’s something we’ll be focusing on this week. When you get errors in games, a lot of it can be helped by how you train,” he said.

“If you train better generally the output at the weekend as a whole is better.

“There were a lot of errors on Saturday so it’s a big focus for everyone, coaches, players, leaders really driving that this week, having a really good week of intense, accurate training.”

Saturday’s opponents Bath have enjoyed a good start to the season under former Munster boss Johann van Graan (above), sitting joint-top of the Premiership after five wins in their opening eight games.

Having finished eighth last season, the English side have added some stardust to their squad with the signing of Scotland out-half Finn Russell, who Grant says is “one of the best 10s in the world”.

“It’s a very difficult position to play and to be one of the best says a lot. He can do some really incredible things.

“He’s really consistent in his performances. He’s used to playing in big games, he’s got the skill set, the variety of skills, passing game, kicking game.

“He’s a tough boy as well. He doesn’t shirk from contact, he gets stuck in. He’s got the full skill set. He’s a good leader, he drives teams well.

“We’re looking forward to it. To play at the top level, you’ll be against the best players.

“Bath have really good players so it’s easy enough for us in terms of motivation, getting up for it.”

Watch Munster v Bayonne in the Champions Cup on Saturday from 4.45pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, follow a live blog on www.rte.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app or listen to commentary on RTÉ Radio 1

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