Jump to main content


Ulster Rugby Introduce New Recruits

Ulster Rugby Introduce New Recruits

The Ulster squad have returned to pre-season training and the province also held a media briefing last week to introduce their new assistant coach Steve Williams and some of their new signings. See below for their thoughts on Ulster Rugby and the season ahead.

STEVE WILLIAMS (Assistant coach): “I have been giving a great opportunity to work with a well renowned team and excellent players. We must be positive and confident as we have good enough players to compete with the best.

“I have certain ideas on what I want the players to do and my job is to bring out the best in them. I want us to play a style of rugby which will stand us in good stead when we come up against the big teams.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

“You’re very mindful that you’re taking over from someone (Allen Clarke) who has done a very good job and has moved on to something bigger. It’s a case of not ripping up everything that has been done before and adding your own little twist to things.

“It’s a matter of making sure everyone is pushing in the right direction and doing the things that are best for the team and I have no doubt that is what everybody in the squad wants.

“Myself and Mark (McCall), we’ve hit it off really quickly and we seem to get on really well. We both have very good ideas on how we want the team to play and hopefully it is just a case of implementing these things and making the team better.”

SEAMUS MALLON (Returning centre): “It was always my ambition to return to Ulster (after my time with Northampton). I am definitely coming back a more mature person and a more mature rugby player and hopefully a wee bit better player than when I left.

“We have an influx of new players and a new assistant coach so there is a bit of a buzz around the place.

“I have worked with Steve (Williams) at Northampton and he will bring good communication skills, good man-management and build a good relationship between staff and players. He is a really good, honest coach and I’m looking forward to working with him again.”

CARLO DEL FAVA (New lock): “The transition from Bourgoin to Ulster has been very smooth and professionally handled. Ulster needed a lock and I needed a good solid club to go to as there were a lot of changes going on at Bourgoin and I wasn’t playing regularly with Italy.

“I want to get my Italian shirt back and my aim is to get into the 30-man squad for the World Cup.

“I didn’t know much about Ulster before signing but there is a South African connection. Warren Brosnihan was at the Sharks when I was a junior there so I know him quite well, I also know Alan Solomons and Robbie Kempson. I would have followed them when they moved and they only had good things to say about Ulster.

“I was joking before the end of the season with one of my Bourgoin team-mates Mike Prendergast who played at Munster, I said: ‘can you image if Gloucester, Bourgoin and Ulster were in the same group in the Heineken Cup, it would be hilarious!’ And then it happens, it’s going to be really awesome.

“I’m looking forward to the Heineken Cup as it is a great competition. I was upset when it looked like it wasn’t going forward. It’s great to play in and the perfect place to get experience.

JARLATH CAREY (New prop): “Rotherham had offered me another contract but Ulster was too good an opportunity to turn down. It’s a chance to come home again and play for Ulster who you’ve supported growing up and always followed how they are getting on.

“It was a massive step-up from the AIB League (to move from Belfast Harlequins to Rotherham) and to be honest the first season I was over there in the first three or four games I sort of wondered had I made the right decision.

” It took us a while to get into it but we had a couple of good seasons finishing fourth and we were second last year, narrowly missing out to Leeds.

“The top clubs in Division One, of whom five or six are fully professional, I would say would be mid-table Magners League sides. Rotherham played Ulster and Glasgow in pre-season games and competed for the most part until running out of steam at the end.

“Steve (Williams) is going to make his own decisions and it’s a good chance to get in there (with Ulster) especially with the World Cup on. There are places up for grabs, it’s about trying to get a run of games and then you never know what might happen.

“I’ve got to hit the ground running, Simon (Best) and Bryan (Young) will be at the World Cup so there are a couple of spots but it’s not going to be easy. There are the other three contracted props then you’ve guys like Niall Conlon and everybody is gunning for the position.”