Ulster will have to plan without a number of key players for Friday’s Heineken Champions Cup game against Toulouse at Kingspan Stadium after the province released a fresh injury update today. Andy Farrell’s Ireland squad are returning to their provinces this week ahead of the new European season, which kicks-off on Friday night, but there’s bad news for Ulster head coach Dan McFarland as some of his senior players have returned to Belfast nursing injuries.

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Ulster have confirmed that captain Iain Henderson is due to see a knee specialist after coming off injured during the first half of Ireland’s defeat of Scotland on Saturday, and will miss Friday’s game against Toulouse as a result.

Henderson’s absence represents a major blow for Ulster, who have reached the knock-out stages of the Champions Cup in the last two seasons, as they are also without fellow second-row Kieran Treadwell due to suspension.

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Out-half Billy Burns, who recently won his first international cap, will also be sidelined as he recovers from a groin injury.

Meanwhile Rob Lyttle suffered a back injury in Ulster’s game against Edinburgh last week and will also be unavailable for selection this week.

McFarland is also without Louis Ludik (concussion), Luke Marshall (knee), Rob Baloucoune (hamstring), Will Addison (back), Angus Curtis (knee) and Tom Stewart (hamstring).

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