Skipper Rob McCusker ruled out of Scarlets' Pro12 clash with Ulster
By Robert Lloyd
JOINT skipper Rob McCusker will again be missing as the Scarlets look to inject some momentum into their RaboDirect Pro12 campaign against in-form Ulster on Saturday.
The Wales international back-rower is still recovering from the calf tear he suffered against Glasgow at the start of the month.
With McCusker still sidelined and co-skipper Jonathan Davies in camp with Wales, head coach Simon Easterby will have to find a new captain for the clash with the Ulstermen.
“Rob is on track, but probably not available until next week,” said head coach Simon Easterby.
“We have created a leadership group in pre-season and knew there would be times when we might be without Rob and Jon through international calls and injuries so we feel we have a couple of players who can step up.
“We have players like Phil John and George Earle who have captained the side in the past.”
The Scarlets are likely to without their seven-strong Wales contingent, while a late decision will be made on flanker John Barclay, who has been training with the Scotland national squad this week.
“John is coming back on Thursday and we will make the call then when we see how he is because he has had a tough week of training in Edinburgh,” added Easterby.
On the plus side, wing Jordan Williams is available after missing last weekend’s disappointing 16-16 draw with Zebre because of a shoulder strain, handing Easterby an extra option as he attempts to cover for five of his first-choice back division.
Ulster, who have won their last six matches in all competitions, are also hit by international calls and injuries with South African lock and skipper Johann Muller ruled out for up to six weeks with a torn calf muscle.
Meanwhile, new Kiwi signing Frazier Climo is set to arrive in Llanelli this weekend and will make his Scarlets debut during the opening two rounds of the LV= Cup.