Matt Williams faces a tough challenge as he takes control of Ulster this week. A number of high profile players will leave at the end of the season but he has already brought a new sense of optimism.
Williams arrived in Belfast at the weekend to take the reigns as head coach of Ulster Rugby. Ulster’s Chris Henry and Kieran Campbell spoke to www.UlsterRugby.com exclusively about the impact his presence has had on their training regime.
“Training has been really enjoyable and very positive so far this week,” admitted Henry after this morning’s session.
“Matt really does bring with him a fresh attitude and although the last couple of days have been tough I think everyone has really enjoyed it.
“He is taking everything back to basics and breaking things down into their basic form so that we all know what we are doing on the field and so that we are all working from the same systems and set=ups.
“Off the pitch, we have also been doing a lot more. We have had a team meeting before training and then after training and a lot of the chat has been on mental focus.
“It has been a mixture of Matt talking and us listening and then us the players talking, he wants us to bring ideas forward to him.
“He has introduced mental focus drills and visualisation exercises, these allow you to visualise yourself performing. This week has been more about preparation than anything and although it is hard everyone is enjoying it,” added the back rower.
The Ulster squad will be training with Williams for the next fortnight ahead of their Magners League clash with Newport Gwent Dragons at Ravenhill on February 15.
Ireland-capped scrum half Campbell said: “Having Matt at training has been really refreshing and enjoyable. Obviously there’s no quick fix so we’re all working really hard.
“For the last while the team haven’t been performing the way we would want to but hopefully the Dragons match will kick start some new momentum if we can put in a good performance.”