Ulster Rugby have chosen to remove British and Irish Lion Jared Payne from their Champions Cup squad for the final rounds against La Rochelle and Wasps.
The Irish international midfielder has not played since suffering migraine symptoms while on tour with the Lions in New Zealand.
These symptoms have continued to hamper Payne’s return and has spent the last number of months consulting with medics from Ulster and the IRFU. Having met with medical professionals, no return date has been set for Jared Payne.
Ulster’s Director of Rugby Les Kiss has said that Payne’s case is difficult as there is no definitive time-frame for a return.
The Aussie coach said that Payne’s return will be looked at on a “week to week” basis.
He added that it will have to be a “wise decision” to bring him back – indicating that Ulster won’t rush the New Zealand-born back into action.
With question marks hanging over Payne’s general health, Ulster Rugby have opted to draft in 20-year-old fly half Johnny McPhillips into their European Champions Cup squad to replace Payne.
McPhillips’ performance off the bench against Leinster was one of the few positives the northern province could take away from the defeat.
Having secured back to back wins against Harlequins, Ulster need two wins over La Rochelle and Wasps if they have any chance of progressing out of their European pool.
Billy Keenan, Pundit Arena