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Herbst Looking Forward To ‘A Big Battle Up Front’

Herbst Looking Forward To ‘A Big Battle Up Front’

There are going to be many fascinating match-ups on Saturday when Ulster take on Leicester Tigers at Welford Road, but perhaps the most interesting will be in the front row.

Big names who competed in the corresponding match last season, players like John Afoa, Ben Youngs, Dan Cole and Tom Court will not be involved this year, having either moved on or picked up injuries.

Step forward for Ulster then Wiehahn Herbst and Andrew Warwick. Ulster’s props were in formidable form against Glasgow Warriors last Saturday and played a major role in the win.

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For Herbst, a first European game for Ulster is something that he is hugely excited about. “There is much more of a buzz because everyone knows what we have to do this weekend,” said the tighthead.

“It will be a great physical challenge for us and it’s important that we make a good start in Europe. They do show European rugby in South Africa so I have seen a few games. It’s a very good competition with great players and teams and I’m excited to be part of it now.”

Another thing that he picked up having watched matches in South Africa is that Welford Road is a hugely intimidating rugby ground.

“Leicester are a very formidable side and a very physical side. Even though they have quite a few injuries, it’s going to be a big battle up front. I think we have to be at the top of our game, especially as it is at Welford Road, one of the toughest places to play in Europe,” added the 26-year-old.

After the small matter of Leicester away it is then defending European champions Toulon at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday week (October 25). One of things that Herbst has enjoyed most in his time in Belfast is the roar of that Ulster crowd.

Commenting on the province’s support, he admitted: “It’s always awesome. When you hear them cheering for you when you run out of the tunnel it gives you goosebumps and every time you do something well you just know the crowd is behind you. It’s just an awesome feeling, you can’t really describe (it) until you experience it yourself.

“We have settled in quickly in Belfast and everyone has made it like home for us. We’ve got a nice place to stay and nice people around us. We’ve made a lot of friends and we are really enjoying it.”