Ireland hooker Rory Best will take over from Johann Muller as the new captain of Ulster, it has been announced today.
Rory Best has played 152 times for his province and returns to the captaincy role that he first held from 2007 to 2011.
The 31-year-old has also captained Ireland on four occasions and led out the British & Irish Lions against the Brumbies in the 2013 tour to Australia.
Commenting on the Ulster captaincy, Best said: "It is a huge honour to captain your province. I enjoyed doing it a few years ago but in 2011, I felt I just needed to step down and to concentrate on my game.
"We also had a ready-made captain in the squad in Johann (Muller) which made it easier and he did a fantastic job.
"It is nice to have been asked to do it again. With the extra experience that I have gained at provincial and international level in recent years I believe that I am more equipped than ever before to lead this group of players.
"Being the captain of Ulster is something that I absolutely love doing and I am looking forward to the challenge of the new season."
Leinster and Connacht collide in a tasty pre-Christmas interprovincial cracker, with the hosts looking to avenge their defeat from earlier in the season and the westerners aiming to win in Dublin for the first time in 12 years.