Ulster ready to return to playing after Spence family tragedy

Ulster captain Johann Muller says the team is ready to "move on and continue playing rugby" after the death of player Nevin Spence in a farm tragedy.

"It has been an incredibly tough time, incredibly emotional, but Nevin would have wanted us to carry on and try to continue enjoying what we do.

Spence, his brother and father died on 10 September after a fall into a slurry pit at their farm in County Down.

"The strength shown by Nevin's mum and sisters is inspiring," said Muller.

"The Ulster squad has taken a huge amount of comfort from that."

"I believe everything in life happens for a reason and the faith and belief shown by the Spence family has been wonderful," added the Springbok international.

Mark Anscombe
Mark Anscombe says Ulster's players are finding comfort in being back in a rugby environment

Muller added that he will "try to keep things as normal as possible" in the dressing room ahead of Friday night's Pro12 match against Cardiff Blues.

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe added that it was "good to get the players together again in their rugby environment".

"The lads feel comfortable around each other and they know they are among friends - it's easier for them to be together.

"The support we have received from the rest of the rugby community is amazing.

"We respect everything that has happened but we have a job to do and we have to move on and perform well, as Nevin would have wanted.

"We must go to Cardiff and carry on with the job in hand," added the New Zealander.

Ireland winger Tommy Bowe is expected to play some part in Friday night's game, while Rory Best may be ready to make a comeback in next week's match against Connacht.

Centre Chris Farrell has been ruled out for the season after suffering an ACL injury in an Ulster Under-20 game.

Meanwhile, Ulster's Pro12 game against Zebre, which was postponed as a mark of respect, has been rescheduled for Sunday 18 November, with a 14:00 GMT kick-off time.

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