Dan McFarland has criticised those who questioned the decision to postpone their game against the Cell C Sharks on Saturday.
Following their impressive bonus point win against the Lions, Ulster were aiming to make it two wins from two in South Africa.
However, just 24 hours before kick-off, the announcement was made to postpone the game due 29 players and 13 support staff becoming unwell in the lead up to the game.
Speaking alongside Ulster’s statement on the issue, Dan McFarland spoke on how disappointed he was by the reaction of some people outside the camp, as Ulster chased history in South Africa.
“We came to Durban with our sights on doing what, to this point, no other team in the URC has managed to do-the double in South Africa.
The win versus the Lions was a big physical challenge, and I was proud of the way the guys fronted. We are used to travelling to South Africa and what it requires, and this level of sickness was unprecedented.
It’s disappointing, especially given how unwell our group was, that some chose to question the reasoning for our game to be postponed, as we have invested a lot as a group and an organisation in getting the fixture played."
Ulster have released a statement on why their fixture against the Cell C Sharks was postponed just over 24 hours before kick-off.
Ulster were set to face the Sharks in a highly anticipated clash in South Africa on Saturday, with both sides impressing in the early rounds of the URC.
With the Sharks naming their side containing their returning South African internationals, excitement was building ahead of one of the games of the round.
However, it was announced on Friday that the fixture was postponed due to an outbreak of gastroenteritis within the Ulster squad. Glasgow Warriors trip to the Emirates Lions was also postponed.
Following the postponement by the URC of Ulster’s Round 6 fixture, the Ulster Rugby Medical team has issued a squad update.
Full update below ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/9UkSHLE4Uc
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) October 23, 2022
In a statement made by Ulster today, it was revealed the full extent of the illness that hit the squad.
“The Ulster Rugby Medical Team has confirmed that 29 players and 13 support staff were unwell whilst in Durban in the lead-up to Saturday’s postponed fixture. Independent medical testing confirmed both E.coli and Norovirus in tested samples.
The club can also confirm that all precautionary medical, nutritional and Public Health advice was adhered to prior to any member of the travelling group failing ill, and that the on-ground Ulster Rugby Medical team took all actions possible to prevent the spread amongst players and staff this week.
Ahead of the upcoming Round 7 fixture versus Munster next Saturday, the travelling squad if due back in Belfast on Monday lunchtime and will start preparations later this week, together with the wider playing group, for the upcoming URC game.