Official Match Day Programme
Fri 15 Oct 2021, 7.35pm
In this Issue
Welcome back to Kingspan Stadium, the home of Ulster Rugby,
where tonight the Ulster squad welcomes Emirates Lions for the fourth round of the
United Rugby Championship.
After a home win last week against Benetton Rugby, Ulster will look to maintain their
winning ways. This was the third win in a row for the Ulster men and this evening, they will
clash with the South African giants who will be keen to make up for their defeat last week
against Glasgow Warriors. This promises to be an exciting encounter.
On behalf of the entire Ulster Rugby and Kingspan community, we would like to extend the
warmest of welcomes to our visitors and we have no doubt the loyal crowd in Kingspan
Stadium will provide stirring support for the Ulster team.
Finally, on behalf of Kingspan, I would like to wish the Ulster Rugby squad and management
team the very best of luck. To Ulster’s committed fans, enjoy the game, lead the way and
help ensure that this is an evening to remember at Kingspan Stadium.
Ones To Watch
Behind The Player
Sorcha Mac Laimhin
Lions Will Not
Welcome to Round 4 of the United Rugby
Championship, and our third home fixture
for the Ulster men this season.
I would also like to give a warm welcome to
our opponents this evening, the Emirates
Lions, who are playing their first game here
at Kingspan Stadium. They come into this
game having been narrowly defeated by
Glasgow Warriors. They will be keen to pick
up a win but Ulster have prepared well for
Last Friday, Rob Herring marked his doublecentury
for Ulster with a try which was
just reward for his excellent performance
against Benetton. The reception he received
as he took the field with his daughter Milly
was fantastic; a proud occasion for him and
Tonight’s game is a special occasion for
Mike Lowry, as he is set to make his 50th
appearance for the province if called upon –
a fantastic achievement for a player who is
only 23 years of age, and reflects the talented
player he is. Congratulations Mike, and good
luck this evening!
Ulster’s Heineken Champions Cup Pool Stage
fixture details were confirmed last Thursday.
The team will first travel to Stade Marcel-
Michelin to take on ASM Clermont Auvergne
on Saturday 11 December at 5.30pm (UK /
Irish time). The following Friday 17 December,
Ulster will host Northampton Saints at
Kingspan Stadium at 8pm.
Ulster hit the road again for the third
Round on Sunday 16 January, and will face
Northampton Saints at cinch Stadium at
Franklin’s Gardens, with a 3.15pm kickoff.
Six days later, they are back home for
their final pool game versus ASM Clermont
Auvergne at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday
22 January. All of Ulster’s pool stage games
will be broadcast live on BT Sport.
Last weekend marked the beginning of the
first-ever Super Series, a new programme
designed to provide 15-a-side playing
opportunities for U16 and U18 girls. Local clubs
who don’t currently have the playing numbers
have been grouped together on a regional
basis, with Ulster Rugby staff facilitating joint
training sessions and matches.
The objective of the Super Series is to grow
the profile of girls’ rugby through providing
regular match opportunities, eventually
increasing the playing numbers of the clubs
involved. Ulster Rugby Development Staff will
also use these sessions to identify individuals
with potential, and help them to progress
along the player pathway. This is a hugely
exciting programme which will no doubt bear
fruit in the coming years as players progress
and the pool of players grows.
I hope you enjoy the game this evening,
and thank you for your support!
President, IRFU Ulster Branch
Name: Ethan Martindale
Ethan loves watching Ulster and loves
going to Kingspan Stadium to cheer
the team on. He is a big fan of the
Bangor boys, Craig Gilroy and Stuart
McCloskey, but his favourite player is
Ethan enjoys playing mini rugby at
Bangor with all his friends.
Welcome to Round 1 of the new United
Rugby Championship, and the first
competitive game of the 21/22 season.
I also extend a warm welcome to tonight’s
opponents, Glasgow Warriors. They clinched
an impressive win away to Worcester
Warriors a fortnight ago, so I am sure Dan
McFarland and the squad know how tough a
challenge this opening Round will be.
The URC brings an exciting new level of
competition, combining the top South
African clubs – Emirates Lions, DHL Stormers,
Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks - with the
Guinness PRO14 to create a world-class 16-
team league. We are very excited about the
season ahead in this new Championship.
Last week, we were delighted to announce
the signing of South African World Cup
winner, Duane Vermeulen, who will join Ulster
following the Autumn Tests. I think it’s safe to
say how excited we all are to have a player
of Duane’s calibre and experience added to
our back row and squad. We can’t wait to
welcome him into the fold in November.
Congratulations to the eleven Ulster players
who took part in Sunday’s Irish Rugby camp
in preparation for the upcoming Autumn
Nations Series. Well done to Will Addison,
Robert Baloucoune, SHOP ONLINE Billy Burns, James
Hume, Stuart www.ulsterrugbyshop.com
McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale,
Iain Henderson, Click and Rob collect Herring, available Eric O’Sullivan,
Tom O’Toole and Nick Timoney.
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Kathryn Dane, Neve Jones and Brittany
Hogan have been part of the Ireland team
competing for a place in next year’s Rugby
World Cup – after a narrow defeat to Spain
and superb victory over Italy, it all comes
down to the final Qualifier versus Scotland
tomorrow (5pm UK / Irish time, Stadio
Lanfranchi Stadium). Best of luck to our
three players and the rest of the women in
The Deloitte Ulster Senior Women’s team
concluded their Vodafone Interprovincial
campaign two weeks ago, with a hardearned
draw against a tough Connacht side.
Well done to all the coaches and players who
were involved in the match-day teams and
the wider training squad.
It has been great to have Ulster feature
strongly in the current Development Inter-
Pro fixtures at the IRFU High Performance
Centre. Our young talent have missed out on
so much club and representative rugby over
the last 18 months, so it’s fantastic they’re
getting the chance to shine for their province.
NEW SEASON HOME KIT
On the domestic front, it’s wonderful to see
club and schools’ rugby make a return to
competitive action over the last couple of
weeks – it’s set to be a bumper season ahead
CEO Ulster Rugby
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At only 23, Mike Lowry is set to make his
50th appearance for the province if called
upon on Friday evening.
You’re approaching your 50th appearance
for Ulster! How does that feel?
where we want to get to. Yes, we’re happy
with what we’ve done so far but we know
where we want to reach. We still have a bit
of work to do but if you said at the start
of the season that we’d be three from three
and 15 points on the board, we’d take it!
It’s an absolute honour. It’s flown in from my
first cap and now coming up to 50. I played
a lot of rugby last year which definitely
helped but I didn’t think I was close to
that number until I checked recently. It’s a
pleasure and an honour to have reached 50
caps for my province.
You’re part of the leadership group within
the squad – can you tell us a little about
that and as a young player, how valuable is
it to you and your development to be part
of that group?
Yeah, I feel like I have a massive role to play
being in the leadership group and the role
I have as an outside half, you need to be a
bit of a leader on and off the pitch. Because
we have such a young cluster of players
coming through, I felt like I was one of the
leaders of that young group. I would help
those younger ones coming through while
also being the connection between the
older guys and the younger guys. I felt I
wanted to be part of that leadership group.
Dan had a conversation with the existing
leadership group and one of the players
in that group asked if I wanted to be a
part of it as a younger player. I think they
thought it would be good to have me in
there going forward. It helps to relay things
to the younger lads or if we have a strategy
meeting about a game coming up, being
one of those voices that people can listen
to. If anyone needs a bit of help, I can do my
best to do that.
How have you found the start to Ulster’s
season so far?
We’ve got full points since the start of the
season; we’re three from three but we feel
our best rugby is yet to be played. There are
signs there but I think we’re still not exactly
What can you take from the game against
Benetton into this week ahead of the
We had a review of the Benetton game and
we need to be better in certain areas like
holding onto the ball better. Hopefully we can
show that on Friday night here against the
Emirates Lions. We usually take things from
the review of the game before to bring into
the next week and improve on certain areas.
Does not having played Emirates Lions
before change your preparations at all?
It’s definitely different if you haven’t played
against a certain player before. You can do
all the video analysis you like in a build-up
to a match, but it is different. You don’t
know exactly what they’re going to do.
It’s definitely a challenge but by the same
measure, so will they, which is a positive.
They have a massive pack with big strong
lads as well as fast backs, so they have a
mixture of threats. If we can speed the
game and play our sort of game rather than
playing into theirs, it will hopefully lead to
a good performance and ultimately, a win.
How much are you enjoying having
supporters back at Kingspan Stadium?
It’s been brilliant. In our first game against
Glasgow Warriors, we walked around the
pitch after the game for the first time in
such a long time, applauding the crowd. It
was such a special feeling seeing friends
and family in the stands again. It makes
such a difference, and a difference for
the opposition as well! We’ve loved every
minute of having fans back and being able
to see your best mates in the crowd again.
BALLYGOWAN – OFFICIAL HYDRATION
PARTNER OF ULSTER RUGBY
‘Walk To’ Clubs Recognised for #NeverStopCompeting with Bank Of Ireland
The challenge was open to anyone of any
ability, and in addition to chasing down the
steps total, we encouraged participants to
support the spirit of the campaign, to:
• Get out and get active again as lockdown
• Re-engage with your local rugby club,
teams, players and volunteers as the
domestic game returns.
• Promote general well-being in your local
Members of the rugby community smashed
the 9,102,342-step target (the equivalent of
walking from Kingspan Stadium to every
club in Ulster and back), walking a total of
The winning clubs have demonstrated that
their activities aligned with the spirit of both
the ‘Walk To’ and #NeverStopCompeting
campaigns. #NeverStopCompeting celebrates
the good that comes from competition, how it
fuels us and connects us, and pushes us past
whatever stands in our way.
Congratulations to the following clubs who
have received £500 worth of worth of Gilbert
Rugby equipment packs from Ulster Rugby:
Ards RFC was the club who accumulated
the highest number of steps. Richard
McNeilly and Paddy McGrattan both took
the first and second spots for most steps in
the male category. Paddy also undertook a
walking challenge alongside Stephen Nutt
from Kingspan Stadium to the home of Ards
RFC, Hamilton Park on Friday 30 April.
Aidan Kee from Malone RFC took the top spot
for most steps in the Under-18 age group.
Aidan, along with his dad Colin, contributed
over 600,000 steps to the ‘Walk To’ challenge.
Malone had 12 participants in total, who
helped put the club in 2nd spot overall.
Grosvenor RFC set up a walking group in line
with government social distancing measures,
contributing steps both individually and with
friends and family. Grosvenor members also
submitted the most entries and the club
placed third for number of steps.
David O’Daly and Cathy Weston set
themselves a challenge in a bid to raise funds
for equipment for the club. Over the course
of the last couple of months, Dave and Cathy
walked from Virginia to Kingspan Stadium
and back. They smashed their target by
30km and raised over €600 for the club.
Thanks to their steps logged, along with
other members, the club came 4th overall.
Belfast Harlequins RFC
Hilary McLean from Belfast Harlequins RFC
notched up the most steps in the Over-65s
age group, while also placing first for the
number of steps submitted by a female.
Thanks to Hilary’s contribution, the club was
fifth for overall steps logged. .
A huge well-done also goes to all participants
and clubs who took part.
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Fly Half / Centre
Lock / Back Row
Full Back / Wing
THE SPIRIT OF
DISCOVER THE SPIRIT WITHIN |
The oval trim design is a registered trademark of Gilbert Rugby.
1 Warwick 2 Herring 3 O’Toole
1 Sithole 2 Visagie 3 Sadie
8 McCann 7 Timoney
8 Straeuli 7 Tshituka
16 B Roberts
16 PJ Botha
17 E O’Sullivan
17 R Dreyer
18 R Kane
18 A Ntlabakanye
19 K Treadwell
19 W van der Sluys
20 S Reidy
21 D Shanahan
20 E Tshituka
21 M van den Berg
22 M Lowry
23 B Moxham
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)
Assistant Referees: Robert O’Sullivan, Dermot Blake (both IRFU)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)
22 F Zeilinga
23 W Simelane
Round 1 of our new programme for girls
kicked off last Sunday with a total of 217
players taking part. 134 U16s & 83 U18s
came together from 27 clubs to hold 6
games right across the province.
The Super Series takes clubs and groups
them together on a regional basis, allowing
them to compete in 15-a-side games with
Ulster Rugby staff facilitating joint training
sessions and matches.
The objective of the Super Series is to
grow the profile of girls’ rugby through
providing regular match opportunities,
eventually increasing the playing numbers
of the clubs involved.
Enniskillen and Virginia will compete as
standalone teams, while 25 clubs will form
the four regional sides:
Ards, Ballynahinch, Bangor, Cooke,
Donaghadee and Malone
North East Lightning
Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrick, Larne,
Ophir, Rainey and Randalstown
North West Eagles
City of Derry, Finn Valley, Inishowen,
Letterkenny and Limavady
Banbridge, City of Armagh, Dungannon,
Lurgan, Monaghan, Newry and Portadown
The 2nd round will take place on the
24 October, with further details to
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Ones to Watch
Sibahle “Rabz” Maxwane
14/08/1995 185cm 90kg
The 26 yeard old Winger has a weath of experience
and has featured against Ulster before, back in the
2019/20 season, with his former club, Toyota Cheetahs.
Maxwane was their top metre-maker at that stage.
A certain threat, the Winger has plenty of speed and
provides great cover for the back-field .
10/09/1998 194cm 109kg
Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the 23
year old Back Row is a threat to any defense. Tshituka is
a fantastic competitor at the breakdown and a ferocious
ball carrier, often seen to be striding through tackles or
simplying pushing defenders to the ground.
09/05/1995 195cm 100kg
Born in Bloemfontein, the 26 year old Fly Half joined the
Lions in 2020, having previously played for Leicester
Tigers, Stormers and the Western Province.
Last week, Viljoen scored all of the Emirates Lions’ points
against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun, striking the ball
with pin-point accuracy.
NAME POSITION DOB HEIGHT WEIGHT
PJ Botha Hooker 20/01/1998 180cm 105kg
Morne Brandon Hooker 25/11/2000 183cm 105kg
Ruan Dreyer Prop 16/09/1990 185cm 115kg
Jannie Du Plessis Prop 16/11/1982 188cm 121kg
Francke Horn, Back Row 24/5/1999 190cm 106kg
Pieter Jansen van Vuren Lock 2/04/1991 194cm 108kg
Jaco Kriel Back Row 21/08/1989 184cm 101kg
Morgan Naude Prop 11/08/1998 181cm 104kg
Reinhard Nothnagel Lock 25/09/1997 201cm 117kg
Asenathi Ntlabakanye Prop 15/04/1999 183cm 153kg
Carlu Sadie Prop 07/05/1997 184cm 143kg
Sibusiso Sangweni Back Row 27/11/2000 188cm 102kg
Ruben Schoeman Lock 14/03/1996 198cm 120kg
Sti Sithole Prop 31/03/1993 180cm 114kg
Ruhan Straeuli No.8 04/11/1998 193cm 111kg
Emmanuel Tshituka Back Row 16/06/2000 193cm 106kg
Vincent Tshituka Back Row 10/09/1998 194cm 109kg
Wilhelm van der Sluys Lock 14/08/1991 188cm 110kg
Jaco Visagie Hooker 08/07/1992 188cm 107kg
Eddie Fouche Fly Half 04/09/1997 185cm 92kg
Jordan Hendrikse Fly Half 28/06/2001 186cm 89kg
Sibahle Maxwane Wing 14/08/1995 185cm 90kg
Matt More Centre 25/11/1998 192cm 101kg
Burger Odendaal Centre 15/04/1993 187cm 99kg
Stean Pienaar Wing 13/5/1997 178cm 97kg
Manuel Rass Centre 19/04/1998 174cm 86kg
Divan Rossouw Wing 12/03/1996 187cm 93kg
Wandisile Simelane Centre 21/03/1998 180cm 92kg
Ginter Smuts Scrum Half 07/09/1998 175cm 86kg
Jamba Ulengo Wing 07/01/1990 188cm 102kg
Morne Van den Berg Scrum Half 24/10/1997 174cm 82kg
EW Viljoen Fullback 09/05/1995 195cm 100kg
Andre Warner Scrum Half 02/09/1993 184cm 93kg
Fred Zeilinga Fly Half 11/12/1992 175cm 82kg
Zebre 26-38 Emirates Lions
Scarlets 36-13 Emirates Lions
Glasgow 13-9 Emirates Lions
Half-Time Disability Rugby
1 Owen Pickett
1 Jo Jo Berry
2 Josh Kernoghan
2 Henry Berry
3 Daniel Oslter
3 Caleb Stuart
4 Daniel Purse
4 Samantha Smallwood
5 James Dorman
6 Leon Hawthorne
Sharkies (Over 15s)
5 Toby Ellsmere
6 Matthew Ireland
1 Kris James
7 Christopher Hawthorne
8 Paul Field
1 Alan McGimpsey
7 Baily Allen
8 Patrick Brown
2 Gary Dorman
9 Matthew Davidson
2 Erin McGimpsey
9 Jo Brown
3 Tommy Scott
10 Fintan McErlean
3 Andrew Tait
Red, Blue, Yellow
11 Kaden James
12 Alfie Moore
Red / Green
1 Carter McRoberts
1 Caitlin Hammond
2 Ben Collins
2 Rachael Booth
3 Alex Stuart
3 Darly Lappin
4 Jackson McCormack
4 J J Galway
Sharkies (Under 15s)
5 Frazer Currie
6 Niall Lawson
5 Kenzi turtle
6 Conor Nickle
1 Hanna Blaney
1 Patrica Logan
2 Bobby McCallister
2 Pete Brown
3 Mark Ellsmere
Red / Green
Last Time Out
28 - 8
Rob Herring got a second bite at the cherry
five minutes from half-time, stretching out
the arm from the advancing Ulster maul to
get the try. Nathan Doak made no mistake
with the conversion.
Benetton looked to put early pressure on
Ulster in the second half, but again discipline
let them down and Ulster were able to
eat back into the visitors’ territory. Benetton
eventually got out of trouble through
The Italian side again tested Ulster’s
defences and looked like they might
score before Ulster turned the ball over,
but it was deemed to be illegally-so
and James Hume was sent to the bin.
Benetton then pounced through winger,
Ratuva Tavuyara in the corner. Marin was
unable to land the conversion.
Ulster got themselves into a good position
with a scrum, but Benetton forced the
penalty against the head and were able to
exit from their half. Ulster remained patient,
and momentum in the scrum shifted back
their way. The hosts went through the
phases and Player of the Match, Nathan
Doak spotted his chance to go himself
to secure the bonus-point in the dying
minutes of the game. He took his personal
tally to 18 points when he coolly slotted the
conversion to see out the game.
Ulster 28 - 8 Benetton
Ulster claimed their third win from three
games, and secured maximum points
after defeating Benetton 28-8 at Kingspan
Stadium last Friday evening.
Most of the opening few minutes were
played in the middle of the park with neither
side having any clear scoring opportunities.
Benetton however were first on the board
with a Leonardo Marin penalty in the
Ulster struck again just four minutes later,
after a nice loop movement between Nathan
Doak, Rob Herring and David McCann,
allowing the Number Eight through the gap
and send Doak through for Ulster’s second.
The scrum-half drilled the ball over to
convert his try.
Some ill-discipline from Benetton inside
their own half allowed Ulster and Billy Burns
to pin them back for the attacking line-out.
Double-centurion, Rob Herring looked to
have scored from the Ulster maul but after a
TMO check, referee AJ Jacobs deemed it to
be no try due to an Ulster obstruction.
Benetton went down to fourteen with Ivan
Nemer being sent to the bin for not rolling
away, and Ulster capitalised on the man
advantage in the 22nd minute. Billy Burns
made a beautifully weighted cross-field kick
which Craig Gilroy gathered and dotted
down for his 67th try.
Behind the Player
Sorcha Mac Laimhin
In our series, Behind the Player in association
with Deloitte, Ulster’s Senior Women
players share a little bit about themselves
and their rugby careers.
This week, the spotlight turns to Cooke and
Ulster prop, Sorcha Mac Laimhin, who is
retiring from provincial rugby.
Tell us a little about your rugby pathway.
I first started playing rugby when I moved
to Northern Ireland and went to university
at Queen’s. My big sister played when she
was at university and my dad was a rugby
referee throughout my childhood, so I knew
it was a good social environment. I wanted
to make some friends, so I went along to the
Freshers’ Fair and found the rugby team to
sign up. I just wanted to join for the fun of it
and to make friends. I didn’t know too much
about playing rugby other than having to
pass the ball backwards! I really enjoyed a
couple of seasons learning about the game
and playing with Queen’s Women.
In my second year at Queen’s in 2008, I
played a match against Cavan and after
the game, my coach told me that the Ulster
coaches wanted me to go to training.
I didn’t think I was very good or that it
would be something I could pursue. It was
a totally different environment to club
training. That was the start of taking rugby
a bit more seriously and trying to improve!
I played in a friendly against the Army
and was like a rabbit in the head lights!
The following season, I was asked to
go back and got my first cap for Ulster
After Queen’s I transferred to Belfast
Harlequins where the coach, Nathan
Moore was really keen to get another
women’s team into the All-Ireland League.
He talent-spotted the likes of Ashleigh
Orchard (Baxter) and Nikki Caughey. We
had a couple of cracking seasons there but
unfortunately couldn’t get that promotion
into the AIL. A number of us went to
different clubs which was a real shame. It’s
great now that Harlequins have a strong
women’s section again and are doing well.
It was at that point that I moved to Cooke
where I’ve been playing since 2012.
What has been the best advice you’ve
The best advice I’ve been given has been to be
coachable. It’s important that you go into any
training session hoping to learn something
and without any arrogance that you know it
all already. Every coach and players around
you bring their own experiences and you’re
always able to learn. Go in with an open mind
and be eager to learn. You’ll definitely grow
and go far.
What advice would you give to a young girl
or woman who is thinking about taking
I just think, “go and give it a shot!”.
Jump in with both feet and you’ll
really enjoy it. If you want to
push right ahead and try to
represent your province or
even country, there are so
many great people who
can give you advice and
support. The first place to
start is your local rugby
club; find it, get down
there and if there isn’t
a girls’ or women’s
team, start one and
throw yourself into it.
You won’t look back;
rugby is a great sport,
and the community
is incredible. You
make some of the
best friends you’ll
ever have. Just get
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The second row spoke to the media earlier
this week about how he’s been settling in at
How are you settling in at Ulster?
I’ve settled in really well. It’s been thoroughly
enjoyable for me just to get back into an Irish
set-up. Italy was a brilliant experience from a
rugby, lifestyle and cultural point-of-view but
being an Irish lad, the craic and the other side
of that is the intensity and ambition within
the environment is fantastic to be part of.
I’d hang around with most of the lads; it’s a
really inclusive, open group and there are no
cliques. That’s not to say there were cliques
in any of the previous environments I was in!
The Ulster group is very welcoming; you can
throw a message into the WhatsApp group
to say you’re going for a bit of lunch and 20
lads could get back to you. If I was to pick a
couple of players out, I’d pal around with Alan
O’Connor, Marty Moore and John Andrew
quite a bit, but there are no favourites!
How did your move to Ulster come about?
I came back from Italy and there wasn’t really
much around that really excited me. I had
worked with Dan in the past at Connacht
close to ten years ago now, so I came home,
kept fit and set a date and after that I’d
move on if nothing came up. One person’s
misfortune is another person’s luck; Dan got
in touch to say they needed a second row.
Every game is a trial and a chance to impress.
If you don’t go out and perform, it’s just a trial
and nothing more. I’ve tried to approach it
from a day-to-day mentality. If you watch
the NFL documentary, “Hard Knocks”, they
can get a rattle on the door on any given day
and you’re either claimed by a team or you’re
gone. I’ve tried to have a similar mentality
with this whole experience and that has
made it really enjoyable.
Did you speak to your former Zebre teammate,
Ian Nagle who spent some time at
Ulster, before your move?
I did. Ian had an unbelievably positive
experience here before he went to Zebre.
We would have spoken about it over the last
two years. He said it was the most positive
experience of his whole career, so for him to
say that having been at the likes of Munster
and Leinster, London Irish and Zebre, that
was all I needed to hear. We’d be very good
friends and I trust his opinion on a lot of
big decisions. Once I’d heard that, it was a
How do you feel the start of the season has
gone from a team perspective?
It’s an outcome business from a performance
point-of-view. We’ve got 15 points which is
great but there have been meetings we’ve
sat in following the game where there’s been
a lot of frustration in terms of what we could
have achieved in each game. We probably
haven’t put the full package together just yet.
There’s a real excitement around the group
to put the full package together. The first
three weeks have gone well from an outcome
perspective, but we’re still challenging each
other every day to try and put it all together
and have a more complete performance.
What was it like to play against your former
team-mates in Zebre two weeks ago?
Playing against the Zebre lads was great;
they definitely had a target on me! I got a
few messages from them during the week
saying that there were going to be a few
shots coming my way! It was good to catch
up with those guys; the results haven’t gone
their way but they’re an unbelievably hardworking
bunch of guys who show up every
day and put the shoulder to the wheel. I’ve
so much time for them as a group so it was
great to see them again.
Kingspan’s products sold in 2020, will make a significant
positive contribution to the environment over their lifetime.
tonnes of CO 2
will be saved
over the life of
systems sold in
billion litres of
rainwater will be
harvested by our
in 2020 2
In 2020 alone,
we upcycled 573
9 billion lumens
power a major
15 years 1
to fill over 400
fill over 800
Enough to light
up 1 million
Visit our 2020
1. Assumes 60 year product life; based
on an EU airline disclosure of 10.5m
tonnes of CO 2
e emissions in 2019
2. Assumes a 20 year product life
3. Assumes 10 x 60W bulbs per home
Jewel Changi Airport | Singapore
and strengthening for the much tougher
Other teams are now bleeding back into
their squads those who had busy summer
schedules at international and Lions level,
and Ulster will hope it can soon line out with
skipper Iain Henderson, Jacob Stockdale,
Robert Baloucoune and John Cooney, just
three of an extraordinary casualty list.
With Kieran Treadwell, David O’Connor,
Rob Lyttle and Eric O’Sullivan back in full
training, McFarland’s selection options
improve and the already feisty competition
for places in a team which is itching to
prove itself as a one of the of the most
gifted and robust in Europe. Jack McGrath,
Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall, on
Lions Will Not Sleep Tonight!
Something is stirring in our new United
Rugby Championship, and Ulster will
hope that it is thoroughly prepared for a
very new kind of challenge at Kingspan
Stadium this evening.
After three rounds of the new competition,
the four newcomers from South Africa
– without the aid of their international
players - have stumbled rather than strode
into rugby battle. There was certainly no
denying the proven pedigree of the Sharks,
Bulls, Stormers and Lions, but their early
forays in the northern hemisphere hardly
suggested they were sporting monoliths
But last weekend the Sharks, with one Ruan
Pienaar prominent, inflicted an impressive
defeat on the Ospreys. The Bulls, with a
certain Marcell Coetzee in the back row,
saw off Cardiff at the Arms Park, and the
Stormers took two valuable points from a
20-20 draw in Edinburgh.
The Lions, also in the middle of a European
‘swing,’ considered themselves more than a
little unfortunate to leave Scotstoun on the
wrong side of a 13-9 defeat to Glasgow.
So, it is a wounded group of players which
arrives at Kingspan Stadium, determined
to bring Ulster’s unblemished start to the
campaign to an end – though the visitors
understand their hosts would appear to be
a much more resilient and focussed side
than for some time.
Dan McFarland will have minutely studied
the Lions’ strengths and potential frailties,
and Ulster Defence Coach Jared Payne has
spoken with real clarity about the physical
challenge which awaits his charges this
evening. Furthermore, Payne believes
this is a good time to take on the South
Africans teams who will pose an even more
sophisticated threat in their own conditions
next year when Ulster travel to the Stormers
and to the Bulls.
So, this evening home supporters will
get their first glimpse of the new boys on
the URC block, and it should be quite an
occasion for fans who won’t be able to
see their favourites in home action for
another two months as the competition
takes them to Connacht, Leinster and the
Ospreys in the league, then to Clermont in
the Champions Cup, before Northampton
arrives in Belfast just before Christmas in
the elite European tournament.
Throw in the Autumn international schedule
and regulars at home will hope, and believe,
that the team will face a hugely busy and
challenging end of the year and January
with URC ambitions intact, and momentum
gained helping to mount a serious challenge
in the Champions Cup despite being drawn
in such a tough group.
But for this weekend the focus of Head
Coach McFarland, his assistants and players
will most certainly be on extending its
winning run by caging the Lions. In the
process they will want to take those forward
steps in performance which have been
admirably consistent in terms of results but,
as all in the camp accept, need refinement
their returns to action, will only further
deepen the talent pool, so supporters can
genuinely harbour hopes of a lengthy and
fruitful season for the men in white.
But to this evening. Lions Head Coach Ivan
van Rooyen has one of the shrewdest brains
in the sport, and even at this early stage his
depleted squad tops the South African URC
pool, opening its mini tour of Europe with
an opening round win at Zebre.
The physicality of which McFarland and
Payne have spoken is amply represented
by the presence of Ruhan Straeuli, Emanuel
Tshituka, Sti Sithole, PJ Botha, Jaco Kriel
and Ruben Schoeman, and the attacking
strings are usually pulled by EW Viljoen and
the darting scrum-half Andre Warner.
A muscular midfield could feature Manuel
Rass and Burger Odendaal, and the scoring
threat often centres on a back three
of Divan Rossouw, Stean Pienaar and
The bumps and bruises picked up and
Glasgow might see ‘Cash’ van Rooyen
roll the dice again, and some less familiar
names could get their first taste of the URC,
but one thing can be assured: the Lions will
start with real energy and hope to use a
renowned maul and scrum to effect against
a home team which boasts its own strong
credentials in those departments.
Ulster has set its stall out clearly this season
with its use of the penalty to the corner
and the consequent lineout setting up
the driving maul. It has been an effective
weapon for a long time, but an improving
tactic which has been executed successfully
with great frequency. The Lions will be
aware of the danger there, and the hosts’
efficiency in lineout and scrummage.
The South African team is not as energetic or
consistence in the loose so the breakdown, as
ever, will be a key area tonight. The turnover
count in Ulster’s favour is dramatically ‘up’
this year, and Nick Timoney, Sean Reidy, Rob
Herring are just a few of the forwads who
have become expert in this department.
McFarland will shortly have a roster at
almost full strength, and he will welcome
the selection headaches that might seem
to create. He will pick sides he feels are
well-equipped to take on any and each
opposition and his players know that when
given their chance, they can cement their
places in his longer-term plans.
It is indeed a squad game, and it is no longer
possible, in many cases, to distinguish
between first and second-choice sides.
The arrival of the Lions at Kingspan Stadium
marks a new chapter in the development
of a league competition which started two
decades ago as the Celtic League and has
developed through its various names into
a truly international and financially settled
tournament with even larger ambitions.
With maximum points from its first three
games and sitting just behind Munster in
what is arguably the most demanding pool
of all – made up of the four Irish provinces
– Ulster has built a platform for yearnedfor
success in a tangible form. It is not an
overstatement to believe that this season, in
the URC and in Europe, could be the making
of this particular squad of Ulster players,
individuals who share the public’s craving
for a title, a trophy.
The Lions will prove a test in all departments
of the game, and more lessons will be learned
by the Ulster management and players, but
in the jungle of modern rugby, Ulster appear
balanced and level-headed enough to take
another important stride.
Supporters will await the side’s return
to action in Belfast in December with an
expectation of a happy Christmas!
SAT 23 OCT 5.15PM | AVIVA STADIUM
Tickets available at connachtrugby.ie
Ulster Rugby Academy
CADEMY ACADEMY ACADEMY
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CADEMY Jude ACADEMY Conor ACADEMY
Postlethwaite Rankin Saunderson
ACADEMY Full Back ACADEMY
CADEMY 193cm ACADEMY 185cm
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Ulster Society of Rugby
Football Referees’ News
We welcome Mike Adamson (SRU) and his
team of officials to Kingspan Stadium this
evening for this Round 4 fixture in the URC.
Mike is only one of a team of eight officials
involved in the game. As well as the three
on field officials, there is also a TMO, a citing
commissioner, a timekeeper and a fourth
and fifth official. So what do they all do?
Citing commissioner – this is an independent
person who will watch the game and look
for any potential acts of foul play. Each
team also has a certain length of time
(usually 48 hours after the final whistle) to
report any issues to the commissioner after
the game. These are then dealt with by a
Timekeeper – he/she is in communication
with the referee and stops and starts
the stadium clock as and when required.
Remember that a game of rugby does
not necessarily end when the clock hits
80 minutes. It stops when the ball next
becomes dead (see quiz on right).
TMO – assists the referee with on field
decisions such as grounding of the ball and
foul play. Look out for a feature on this role
in a future match programme!
Perhaps the most difficult role of any of
the match officials is that of the 4th and
5th official! Not only do they need to keep
the technical zones tidy and the personnel
within them calm, they also control the
replacements coming on and off the pitch,
along with timing sin bins, blood injuries,
Head Injury Assessments and liaising with
the broadcaster over replacements. And
then there is the post-match paperwork!
There is never a quiet night!
If you could see yourself in one of those
roles, why not consider taking up refereeing
where you could progress to become an
official in the professional game?
If interested, please contact
Referee Development Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 07493 868388
Quick-fire Law quiz:
1. When does a half end?
2. When can a referee not play
3. What is the minimum width of
4. How many players are required to
form a maul?
5. The ball bounces off the corner post
and rolls into in goal. An attacking
player touches it down. Decision?
1. When the ball becomes dead after time has expired unless:
- A scrum, lineout or restart kick following a try or
touchdown awarded before time has expired has not been
- The referee awards a free kick or penalty
- A penalty is kicked into touch without first being tapped.
- A try has been scored in which case a conversion can be
2. When the ball or player in possession of the ball touches
The ball comes out of either end of the tunnel at a scrum;
A scrum is wheeled through 90 degrees;
A player in a scrum is forced upwards;
A quick throw, free kick or penalty is taken incorrectly;
The ball is made dead;
It would be dangerous to play on;
It is suspected that a player is seriously injured
3. 68 metres
4. At least three – the ball carrier and at least one from
5. Award a try
Rugby World Cup 2023
Ireland Match Breaks
To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all supporters,
Ulster Rugby would ask all supporters to follow the latest public health
guidance in relation to COVID-19 restrictions.
Please DO NOT attend Kingspan Stadium if you are
experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
RAVENHILL PARK GARDENS
SPIRIT OF ‘99
Clean Hands Keep Distance Wear Face Covering
ABBEY AUTOLINE FAMILY STAND
When travelling around the Stadium, please wear a face covering,
make use of hand sanitisation stations, and be distance-aware and
respectful of other supporters.
A&L GOODBODY LOUNGE / VIP BOXES
We are passionate
in our support
We are silent during kicks
We respect the match
The Food Village will be in operation,
serving a variety of cuisines, while the
Cool FM Crew provide the soundtrack to
All five public bars will be in operation, with
one-way queueing and no mingling indoors.
Audio descriptive match commentary to
enhance the match experience for people
affected by sight or hearing loss will be
available. Earpieces can be collected from
the admin building reception prior to the
game, or you can book your equipment by
calling Jen on (028) 9049 3222.
We do not tolerate
abusive or discriminatory
We respect opposition
We are mindful
of our language
The Kukri Store will be open from 6.05pm
until 30 minutes post-match.
The activity centre for our Junior Season
Ticket holders will not be in operation for
Ulster Rugby wish to thank all of our sponsors
and partners for their continued support.
Official On-kit Sponsors
H Glasgow Fri 24 Sep W 35-29 URC
A Zebre Sat 2 Oct W 3-36 URC
H Benetton Fri 8 Oct W 28-8 URC
H Emirates Lions Fri 15 Oct 7.35pm URC
A Connacht Sat 23 Oct 7.35pm URC
A Leinster Sat 27 Nov 8.00pm URC
A Ospreys Sat 4 Dec 3.00pm URC
A Clermont Sat 11 Dec 6.30pm HCC
H Northampton Saints Fri 17 Dec 8.00pm HCC
H Connacht Sun 26 Dec 5.15pm URC
H Leinster Sat 1 Jan 7.35pm URC
A Munster Sat 8 Jan 7.35pm URC
A Northampton Saints Sun 16 Jan 3.15pm HCC
H Clermont Sat 22 Jan 5.30pm HCC
H Scarlets w/o 28-30 Jan URC
A Dragons w/o 18-20 Feb URC
H Cardiff w/o 4-6 Mar URC
A DHL Stormers w/o 25-27 Mar URC
A Vodacom Bulls w/o 1-3 Apr URC
H Munster w/o 22-24 Apr URC
A Edinburgh w/o 29 Apr-1 May URC
H Cell C Sharks w/o 20-22 May URC