Ulster – the only team outside England and France to lift the Heineken Cup – travel to face The Dragons on Sunday with coach Alan Solomons wary of the Percy Montgomery factor
Ulster – the only team outside England and France to lift the Heineken Cup – travel to face The Dragons on Sunday with coach Alan Solomons wary of the Percy Montgomery factor as the Springbok full back gets set to return to action.
We last played them in September and a lot has happened since then, said Solomons. The Dragons have improved substantially and are a real force on their home patch where they are building a most impressive record. It is a serious challenge and we are expecting a very physical match.
They have a strong pack of forwards and then backing that up they have the excellent boot of Lee Jarvis. Outside him they have a lot of experience with
Percy is a world class player and we are well aware of the sort of damage he can do if you allow him any space.
“Any Heineken Cup match is tough – when I say there are no easy matches in this tournament I really mean it – and playing away from home in this competition is doubly tough.
Ulster welcome back David Humphreys who was forced to withdraw from the side that subsequently hammered The Borders last weekend in the Celtic League. When the sides met in the Celtic League in Ravenhill in September Ulster won 37-18 and must be fancied to win again this time around. However, they should note that Gwent Dragons, despite the distractions off-field, have yet to lose at Rodney Parade which is a tribute itself to the coaching and motivational skills of Mike Ruddock, the man on the short list for the vacant position of coach to the Welsh national side.
Ulster:Bryn Cunningham; James Topping, Ryan Constable, Paul Steinmetz, Tyrone Howe; David Humphreys, Neil Doak; Robbie Kempson, Matt Sexton, Simon Best; Rowan Frost, Gary Longwell; Andy Ward capt, Neil Best, Roger Wilson
Replacements:Paul Shields, Rod Moore, Matt Mustchin, Tony McWhirter, Kieran Campbell, Adam Larkin, Shane Stewart.
Meanwhile, Leinster Lions
boosted by that impressive dismissal of The Ospreys last weekend, will take on Biarritz Olympique on Saturday (6th December) at Lansdowne Road (3.00pm). They have named Christian Warner at out-half although they still remain hopeful of having Felipe Contepomi available to them for the pool stages of the competition.
Leinster Lions: Girvan Dempsey; John McWeeney, Brian O’Driscoll, Shane Horgan, Gordan D’Arcy, Christian Warner, Brian O’Meara; Reggie Corrigan capt, Shane Byrne, Peter Coyle; Malcolm O’Kelly, Ben Gissing; Eric Miller, Keith Gleeson, Victor Costello
Replacements;Emmett Byrne, Gavin Hickie, Des Dillon, Shane Jennings, Brian O’Riordan, David Quinlan, Brendan Burke.