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Stockdale hamstring injury adds to Ulster's problems

Ulster have been hit by the news winger Jacob Stockdale is facing up to eight weeks on the sidelines because of a hamstring injury.

The 22-year-old Ireland international, who played a key role for his country in the summer tour to Australia, suffered a grade 2 tear to his hamstring during a training session last week.

The club have now revealed that Stockdale is set to be absent until the back end of September so will subsequently miss the opening to their Pro14 season, which gets under way at home to last season's beaten finalists Scarlets on September 1.

His injury is the latest blow to Ulster ahead of the new campaign with fellow backs Louis Ludik, Luke Marshall and David Busby all facing spells out of the team because of respective problems.

Meanwhile, Charles Piutau departed for Premiership side Bristol, and wingers Andrew Trimble and Tommy Bowe both retired at the end of last season.

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