Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has named a 24-man squad for the province’s festive Magners League derby showdown with Leinster at the RDS on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).
Leaving the Heineken Cup behind them for a few weeks, Ulster now turn their attentions to the Magners League once again, with back-to-back provincial derbies, opening with a trip to European champions Leinster and then a Ravenhill clash with Munster on January 2.
Commenting on this Saturday’s game, Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin said: “Leinster at the RDS, the European champions, it’s a smashing opportunity for us to learn from the things we didn’t do well (against Stade) at the weekend and to try, and improve on them.
“They will test us, but we have to go there with a positive mind frame and know that if we turn up on the day, we are also a strong, competent side.
“That is what professional rugby is all about. You’ve got to look at what you did well and what you did poorly, and you’ve got to improve week by week.
“We played some good rugby in Paris, but until we get that consistency away from home, we’ve just got to keep plugging away until we get it going.
“We know that Leinster will be ready for us, especially after we gained the home victory over them last time we met.”
ULSTER Squad (v Leinster) – Backs (12): Jamie Smith, Clinton Schifcofske, Simon Danielli, Darren Cave, Ian Whitten, Timoci Nagusa, Ian Humphreys, Niall O’Connor, Isaac Boss, Paul Marshall, Cillian Willis, Jonny Shiels.
Forwards (12): Declan Fitzpatrick, Bryan Young, BJ Botha, Nigel Brady, Andy Kyriacou, Ed O’Donoghue, Dan Tuohy, Ryan Caldwell, Chris Henry, David Pollock, Willie Faloon, Thomas Anderson.