Ulster scrum-half John Cooney will miss his side's trip to the RDS to face Leinster this Friday (LIVE on eir sport 1 from 8pm) as he continues to recover from a neck injury.
The former Leinster man sustained the injury in the Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Leicester Tigers a fortnight ago and is yet to return to full fitness.
His absence is likely to mean a start for either former All Black Alby Mathewson or Dave Shanahan.
Following defeats in their opening two Rainbow Cup games, Ulster are unlikely to make the final but will be keen to put one over on their inter-provincial rivals.
Dan McFarland will also be without Kieran Treadwell after the lock sustained an ankle injury in training.
Back row Marcus Rea is a major doubt as he follows return-to-play protocols following the concussion he suffered in the defeat to Munster last weekend.
***See EIGHT Rainbow Cup games LIVE this weekend on eir sport.