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ULSTER RUGBY 2022/2023 - SEASON RUN IN

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the-goon2
LeinsterFan4life
formerly known as Sam
Welshmushroom
clivemcl
carpet baboon
Maine man
RiscaGame
neilthom7
Unclear
Pot Hale
Kingshu
mikey_dragon
Pete330v2
geoff999rugby
Oakdene
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Post by Oakdene Wed Jan 11 2023, 10:58

First topic message reminder :

Christ on a bike you lot are downbeat for a side that are currently in the top 4 of the league!!

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Jul 07 2023, 11:11

McDonald has not stood out for me.
The decision next year will be between giving him a contract or Shanners.
If McDonald kicks on he will get it, if not Shanners stays.
They are fighting it out for the 3rd SH spot

Flannery is a different kettle of fish - a good looking player who was criminally underused last year.

Declan Moore has gone - Connacht brought out his contract, he wont be back.
To be honest correct decision - he really wasn't very good.

It is safe to assume that Madigan has gone and Reffell has a 1 year contract.
Addison contract will be determined once he has completed pre season training.

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Post by neilthom7 Wed Jul 19 2023, 17:49

Ulster have extended their shirt sponsorship with Kingspan

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Post by clivemcl Wed Jul 19 2023, 20:22

If wrongdoing has been done, the legal system is tasked with finding it an appropriately punishing.

Can we stop this notion that we should dish out our own punishments or expect big corporations to do the punishing.

Let’s just focus on rugby, and gladly accept the money from a sponsor.

Everyone knows sponsorships are not endorsement, they are just money grabs. Who has ever made a decision. In a company simply because they saw them in a sports shirt.

I’m so done with this nonsense.

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Post by neilthom7 Wed Jul 19 2023, 20:43

I think the reason why I point this out is quite simply Ulster Rugby and IRFU got all up on their high horse and tried to pretend that Jackson and Olding had to leave because they didn't fit with the values of Ulster rugby. This was a pair of people found innocent.

On the other hand Ulster rugby are continuing to accept money from a company who was literally pointed out for failings in saftey in a government report that helped contribute to a disaster that cost people their lives.

It's almost like the stuff Ulster told us about Jackson and Olding was complete crap and that's what pisses me off.

Also 'just focus on rugby and gladly accept the money from a sponsor' Clive c'mon sponsorships are literally an endorsement, that is the whole point of them that the company is associated with and endorsed by the sports organisation it gives money to.

Would you just accept the money from a company with a record of using slave labour, what about if they had a record of murdering people. Obviously thats not the case here but you can't just take a sponsors money and not expect people to criticise especially when you have previously put yourself on some sort fo high moral ground publicly.


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Post by clivemcl Wed Jul 19 2023, 21:30

Well it literally does happen all the time... people take sponsorships from companies with shady reputations and allegations - just look at Nike. If they were truly endorsements, then the sponsors would need to be elated in some way to the core values of the club.

The clubs who took betting companies as sponsorships were hardly saying betting is a brilliant past time. Clubs with beer sponsors were not saying 'Carling is the best beer in the world'.
Supporters aren't daft - they know it's just money.

To eb honest, I've long wondered how these companies actually justify the money - I personally can't fathom there being much ROI.

Unless most people how much more susceptible than I. Maybe that's what it is.
If I required construction materials - I just think there would be many more contributing factors other than 'They sponsor Ulster, so they must be good'.

But back to your point on Jackson/Olding - I fully agree.

Interestingly, I see Mandy, after being cleared of r*** has now signed for a League 1 side in France - no doubt well below the standard he is currently capable of. Most big clubs don't want the heat that comes from public cancel culture threat.

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Post by neilthom7 Wed Jul 19 2023, 21:46

The companies can justify the outlay because it actually works. Large companies aren’t stupid, they don’t do things for the laugh they understand being with the right sports team can help spread their name and their image.

I will use Kingspan as an example you say there about construction materials, I too know that’s what they do however before they got the ulster sponsorship I had literally never heard of them. I had to go google them to find out who they were.

Similar to Teamviewer I saw them on a Manchester United shirt one day and though who the heck is that.

Now I know both those companies and what they do. As you say that won’t be the only thing I’d consider if I was getting some building materials but it gives them an advantage over other companies that I know them.

Regardless we have gone down a different avenue from where I intended. My original point really is that if Ulster are going to hold themselves up as a moral high ground on one thing then they have to do it on everything. The fact they have not done so makes me lose respect for them. How can we trust anything they say and that’s important if you are trying to paint the image of a respectful family club like ulster are


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Post by neilthom7 Wed Jul 19 2023, 21:51

As for Mendy that is the French top division although yes a step down from where he was. He also hasn’t played in a number of years which could be something to do with it too

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu Jul 20 2023, 11:51

Is Viaplay dumping the URC or have I been reading things wrong?

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Post by RiscaGame Thu Jul 20 2023, 11:53

Apparently not. Just dumping some things, but not URC.

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Post by Kingshu Thu Jul 20 2023, 12:44

Who had heard of BLK before they sponsored the URC, not I know they are a big Tyre manufacturer and sponsor some other big leagues. If looking for tyres now and see BLK I'd assume they are pretty decent as they can afford to get the brandname up, better than other brands I have never heard off, so I may go for them over some others.

100% agree on the IRFU high horse. Jackson and Olding we know about, Reece move to Connacht, the Judge in her judgement handed a sentence that would not forfeit his Connacht contract as she thought that was best for him, the Victim (his wife) and their family, the IRFU overruled the judges decision and terminated the contact anyway.

I said at the time the moral high ground being taken by the IRFU would come back and they would be put in a position to either become 2 faced, or have to send away a top player or sponsor.

Seams with Kingspan they are happy to be two faced about morals, and codes of conduct.

Not that I want to see Ulster lose a big sponsor and maybe not get the same investment from another, but I didn't think the IRFU should be oblverruling Judges either, they have set out thier stall and in no way should have signed off this Contract extension.

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu Jul 20 2023, 13:11

RiscaGame wrote:Apparently not. Just dumping some things, but not URC.

The official Viaplay announcement states "We will exit the below regions to re-focus on the footprint on the Nordics (multiple tiers) and Netherlands (sports only)"

The below regions included the UK, USA, Canada and Poland

Update: These regions will be sold, partnered or wound down

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Post by clivemcl Thu Jul 20 2023, 16:10

The two faced attitude is actually worse. We're comparing apples and oranges.
You see Ulster turned their backs on players who were found not guilty, and have decided to now to stick with a sponsor that was found to have done wrong.

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Post by neilthom7 Thu Jul 20 2023, 19:22

To be fair a lot of the URC games are on free tv anyways so they would only have to extend those deals to include the other games. I don't think any of the Scottish sides are on free tv though so that would probably be the trickiest as it would be a full set of games to sell.

Sky or TNT may be interested but given the number of games on free tv they probably wouldn't want that. Although Discovery plus are already in the league and they are a partner of TNT Sports so perhaps they would enter the market.

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Post by Kingshu Thu Jul 20 2023, 22:04

Currently available on free to air

Leinster, Munster, Connacht = 18
Dragons, Cardiff Ospreys = 13
Scarlets = 12
Benetton, Zebre = 10
Ulster = 6
Glasgow and Edinburgh = 1
Stormers,Bulls, Lions, Sharks = zero

The URC TV deal was worth more than the Premierships, £50m per season compared to £40m, which is amazing considering how many games are free to air. Basically the paywall games were some Welsh deries, the SA home games, and the Scottish games and 12 Ulster games. Per round it was about even with the Top 14.

I read that Scottish football have already been paid half for this season, so arnt feeling under pressure hopefully URc are in same boat and BBC NI and BBC Alba can pick up games.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu Jul 20 2023, 23:56

Pete330v2 wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:Apparently not. Just dumping some things, but not URC.

The official Viaplay announcement states "We will exit the below regions to re-focus on the footprint on the Nordics (multiple tiers) and Netherlands (sports only)"

The below regions included the UK, USA, Canada and Poland

Update: These regions will be sold, partnered or wound down

Fair enough. There needs to be some clarity on this, as I will be looking to get my yearly sub back. I bet they've been hammered by emails etc today. I got my info from seeing a tweet that stated a Dragons fan had already approached them, asking did it include URC games.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Jul 21 2023, 15:26

So after a social media hounding based on ignorance of the facts - notably 4 young men and 4 young women got so drunk I suspect hardly any of them have a clear recollection of anything.
A case so weak it would not even have got to court if it wasn't for the high profile of one of the defendants.
The IRFU response is to throw them under a bus with Ulster offering no resistance.

When a sponsorship deal comes up with a company complicity in the death of 72 innocent people.
What do Ulster do renew without batting an eyelid

I am disgusted.
I am so glad I did not renew my season ticket
(I have probably missed around 15 games in total from 1999 to 2023).
Hate plastic pictures.
We have the second total nobhead as a CEO in a row.

I'll enjoy trips to family, friends and on holiday instead; as well as watching Queens, Malone, Harlequins and Instonians

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Post by Pete330v2 Tue Jul 25 2023, 09:55

geoff999rugby wrote:So after a social media hounding based on ignorance of the facts - notably 4 young men and 4 young women got so drunk I suspect hardly any of them have a clear recollection of anything.
A case so weak it would not even have got to court if it wasn't for the high profile of one of the defendants.
The IRFU response is to throw them under a bus with Ulster offering no resistance.

When a sponsorship deal comes up with a company complicity in the death of 72 innocent people.
What do Ulster do renew without batting an eyelid

I am disgusted.
I am so glad I did not renew my season ticket
(I have probably missed around 15 games in total from 1999 to 2023).
Hate plastic pictures.
We have the second total nobhead as a CEO in a row.

I'll enjoy trips to family, friends and on holiday instead; as well as watching Queens, Malone, Harlequins and Instonians

It's so sad that such an avid supporter as yourself feels that way Geoff, it's even sadder that your case won't be an isolated incident. The hypocrisy is beyond reason and it highlights even more the cowardice that was shown with the two innocent lads who were banished. Along comes Kingspan with a big cheque and those so called values vanish. Absolutely rotten.

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Post by Kingshu Tue Jul 25 2023, 12:55

While I think the IRFU and ulster signing off on the deal is hypocrisy. I do also feel that this extendion is just so that the shirt and stadium naming rights can be sold as a package next season.

Id hope that its not just testing the water for a renewable of both. The big test is next season and if Kingspan are dropped then or not. Though even at that the one year renewal makes the moral standing used to terminate SO, PJ and Reeces contracts dubious at best.

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Post by Maine man Thu Aug 03 2023, 14:32

New kit to be unveiled soon. But intriguingly they have Will Addison wearing it. Does this mean he is staying for the upcoming season? I hope he stays fit as he adds a different dimension to Ulster's backline

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Post by neilthom7 Thu Aug 03 2023, 20:43

Will being in it is the most intriguing thing about the kit launch as it will almost certainly look exactly like every other home kit kukri has ever made for Ulster.

Hopefully he gets back playing for Ulster, he's a very classy player

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Post by Pete330v2 Fri Aug 04 2023, 10:00

Addison deserves to have an injury free period, the guy has suffered more than most so fingers crossed for him and Ulster in that respect. He's a game changer. Kukri on the other hand are not even kit changers. It'll be basically the same canvas with an extra red line printed on it. Their designers are bereft of imagination.....wait did I call them designers? How long have Kukri left, I'd love for us to get a decent manufacturer signed up so that I can actually update my tops, I refuse to buy that rubbish plus it's insanely uncomfortable.

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Post by neilthom7 Fri Aug 04 2023, 17:39

Kit launched today, shockingly it's basically the same as every other year except with a small red and gold stripe on it.

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Post by neilthom7 Wed Aug 16 2023, 18:33

Ulster have asked to play a pre-season game in a GAA stadium. Possibly of of Armagh, Tyrone or Derry's stadiums as they are putting down this 3G pitch at Ravenhill.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Aug 17 2023, 10:03

neilthom7 wrote:Ulster have asked to play a pre-season game in a GAA stadium.  Possibly of of Armagh, Tyrone or Derry's stadiums as they are putting down this 3G pitch at Ravenhill.

Didn't mention this when ST were renewed.
Remember you get one pre season friendly a year with your ST.
With the game being outside Belfast if you don't go to it, it is cheaper to buy individual tickets than a ST
Glad I didnt renew.

Also hearing the pitch may not be ready for the first home game on 29th October.

In other news Ben Griffin has signed a Development contract

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu Aug 17 2023, 11:47

geoff999rugby wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:Ulster have asked to play a pre-season game in a GAA stadium.  Possibly of of Armagh, Tyrone or Derry's stadiums as they are putting down this 3G pitch at Ravenhill.

Didn't mention this when ST were renewed.
Remember you get one pre season friendly a year with your ST.
With the game being outside Belfast if you don't go to it, it is cheaper to buy individual tickets than a ST
Glad I didnt renew.

Also hearing the pitch may not be ready for the first home game on 29th October.

In other news Ben Griffin has signed a Development contract

Good idea. Ulster should consider branching out and playing a game in Donegal. Donegal seems to have very little interest in Ulster rugby and rugby in general. Cant think of a rugby player ever to play for Ireland from Donegal. Could be an untapped resource.

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Post by neilthom7 Thu Aug 17 2023, 19:29

I don't think we should give Ulster too much credit for attempting to branch out here, the reality is there aren't really any proper venues in Belfast available.

Ravenhill obviously has the pitch going down, Casement hasn't been built yet and Windsor Park will be mid football season when this happens.

It would be an excellent idea to expand their reach and have friendly games in these kind of places but there is an undercurrent of people who think Ulster are disrespecting season ticket holders and taking them for granted. Aside from Geoff I know a number who didn't renew season tickets this year.

For those that did renew this will not do anything to quell that feeling, it isn't that the game is taking place in one of these spots, it's that the pitch relaying wasn't communicated to people before the season ticket renewals were issued, it wouldn't have taken a genuis to work out the pre season game could therefore only happen outside Belfast or not at all and that they would be a game down.

Even if it isn't deceitful it feels like it is and appearance matters when you are trying to fill a stadium with a team that hasn't won a title in
the best part of 20 years and doesn't look like it is heading in a direction to do so this season either.

Then appearance Ulster management has been putting out there is less than stellar. They have backed up a poor end to the season on the pitch with a decision to resign Kingspan, a decision to change the pitch to 3G which I have a feeling many fans probably don't really like and now season ticket holders finding out after they have renewed that unless they can travel to one of these destinations they will be a game down this year.

It feels like they are losing their connection with the fans and that for Ulster would be fatal as thats the only thing keeping people coming to the games


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Post by Maine man Thu Aug 17 2023, 19:32

Collapse2005 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:Ulster have asked to play a pre-season game in a GAA stadium.  Possibly of of Armagh, Tyrone or Derry's stadiums as they are putting down this 3G pitch at Ravenhill.

Didn't mention this when ST were renewed.
Remember you get one pre season friendly a year with your ST.
With the game being outside Belfast if you don't go to it, it is cheaper to buy individual tickets than a ST
Glad I didnt renew.

Also hearing the pitch may not be ready for the first home game on 29th October.

In other news Ben Griffin has signed a Development contract

Good idea. Ulster should consider branching out and playing a game in Donegal. Donegal seems to have very little interest in Ulster rugby and rugby in general. Cant think of a rugby player ever to play for Ireland from Donegal. Could be an untapped resource.

Being a Tyrone man, Healy Park in Omagh would be a good shout. I know Ulster have previously held training camps in Letterkenny.

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Post by Unclear Thu Aug 17 2023, 21:36

Thanks for the summary Neil, and keeping it dispassionate. As a long distance supporter I don't have much of a feel for the "normal" fan view. I rely on TV and occasional trips to away games against English teams in European competitions. The attitude towards those that keep the club going seems cavalier at the very best and suggests to me an arrogance that can not be supported.

It is a professional sport and so money talks. When the money coming through gates declines as it surely will if the fans are treated so poorly, then things may change.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed Aug 23 2023, 11:44

I am delighted there will be a game elsewhere but I do thing it is dishonest that a game which is part of the ST is announced to be played elsewhere after STs are renewed.
They have known the traditional pre-season home friendly will not be possible at Ravenhill for months.

Unfortunately considering supporters is not part of Ulster rugby's philosophy and hasn't been for years.
They are considered cannon fodder who will continue to turn up regardless of how they are treated.


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Post by Kingshu Wed Aug 23 2023, 17:32

I agree that could have should have been comunicated out. I do think moving the game to a GAA ground is in Ulsters intrests long term. Ulster playing in a GAA ground will create a few headlines and get some begrudgers from both sides, better to cross this bridge and get it out of the way in a meaningless friendly. As I can see when Casement park is rebuilt Ulster will look to play a few games there. No need for Ulster fans to treck down to RDS or Aviva, anymore as a home side, some big HCup games may move there, may be able to attract Ba baas, Crusaders, SA XV, best go over the hurdle now than 1st time being a big game

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Aug 25 2023, 10:35

Couple of player related things to post

My daughter was working at a child care center over the summer looking after young kids and a very big bloke walked i nto pick up his child.

Turns out it was Rowan Frost who played for us around 2004 - 2006.
My daughter told me that now he is nearly as wide as he is tall(about 6ft 9" as I recall)
Another player who came here from abroad and has stayed - there are quite a few of them

The other is James Hume who has been trying to get tickets for the Ireland - Tonga game but without success.
8 of us going - you just don't have the contacts in rugby I have James  Wink  Very Happy

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Post by neilthom7 Fri Sep 01 2023, 20:53

Ulsters pre season friendly has been confirmed for Breffni Park in Cavan for anyone who wants to go.

Will be against Glasgow in early October

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Post by geoff999rugby Sun Sep 03 2023, 18:07

Delighted the game is taking place in Cavan.
Unfortunately I'll be away, otherwise I would have gone.

However do note it doesn't appear to be part of the ST.

So in 6 years we gone from
11 League Games, 3 European games and 1 Friendly

To

9 League games, 2 European Games and No friendlies.

Prices have stood still but that is a reduction of 4 games (27%).
A couple of years without a price increases does not cover.

The central seats in the old stand now equate to something like £47.
Welsh and Italian sides are not worth anything close to that and they are 3 of the 11 fixtures.
To be honest often the Saffers aren't either - only one of the 4 teams has sent anything close to a first XV to Ravenhill.

I know I can go on about this but I have heard ST sales continue to drop year on year - maybe the above is one reason why

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Post by Maine man Thu Sep 07 2023, 22:16

Ulster A side for the weekend:
(1-8) Callum Reid, John Andrew, Ben Griffin, Cormac Izuchukwu, Kieran Treadwell, Matty Rea, Reuben Crothers, Nick Timoney

(15-9) Shea O'Brien, Ethan McIlroy, Luke Marshall, Jude Postlethwaite, Aaron Sexton, Angus Curtis, Dave Shanahan

Replacements: Andy Warwick, Tom Stewart, Paul Mullan, Harry Sheridan, Greg Jones, Marcus Rea, Nathan Doak, Billy Burns, Stewart Moore, Ben Moxham, Will Addison.
Addison on the bench. Fingers crossed for him.

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Post by neilthom7 Fri Sep 08 2023, 19:50

Addison set up a try and scored a try when he came on today as Connacht beat Ulster A. Lovely to see him back, I really hope he can stay fit

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Post by Kingshu Wed Sep 20 2023, 13:16

See Madigan has retired due to injury, says staying on in Belfast wonder will that be in a coaching role?

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Post by carpet baboon Fri Sep 22 2023, 10:24

Just announced that Madigan will be Blackrocks attack coach

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Post by Kingshu Thu Sep 28 2023, 19:11

Anyone hopeful of next or coming seasons , think this summer Ulster played the other provinces at A under 20 under 18 clubs and schools about 12 times and lost them all.

Ewers I noticed wasn't picked for some big games for Exeter last season, which was either that they are using youth to build for future, or as I suspect his best days are behind him (still a good player but not as good as he was)

Is there anything to be hopeful over

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Post by Unclear Thu Sep 28 2023, 19:15

Too many Ulster-Scots on here .... we're doomed !

(This is NOT meant to be sectarian, merely a poor attempt at humour)

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Post by neilthom7 Thu Sep 28 2023, 19:46

I'm always hopeful for a season but if I am being realistic I don't foresee Ulster doing teribly well this year. They will likely make top 8 but making top 4 or pushing for a title is a real stretch to see happening.

I don't have a whole lot of faith the coaches can make the team any better than they were last season and yes Kitschoff is an excellent signing but I don't see a whole lot else to push them on from where they were last season.

I still have hope though, maybe this 3G pitch is the cure for all ailments lol

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Post by neilthom7 Sat Sep 30 2023, 20:57

Treviso beat Ulster 24-22 in the pre season friendly today. Considering most of their players are currently playing for Italy that's not a great sign for the start of the season albeit Ulster weren't at full strength either

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Post by Pete330v2 Fri Oct 06 2023, 13:16

Ulster squad v Glasgow named.

(15-9) Will Addison, Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Jude Postlethwaite, Jacob Stockdale, Jake Flannery, Nathan Doak

(1-8) Andrew Warwick, Tom Stewart (C), Greg McGrath, Matty Rea, Kieran Treadwell, Dave Ewers, Marcus Rea, Dave McCann

Replacements: John Andrew, Billy Burns, Ben Carson, Reuben Crothers, Angus Curtis, Cameron Doak, Ben Griffin, Cormac Izuchukwu, Ethan McIlroy, Conor Mckee, Stewart Moore, Ben Moxham, Shea O’Brien, Aaron Sexton, Dave Shanahan, Harry Sheridan, Nick Timoney

How long have we waited to see the name Addison on a starting XV for us?

Does anyone know if this is being streamed?

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Post by Pete330v2 Fri Oct 06 2023, 13:18

P.S.

Great to see Stewart named as captain whilst still in nappies.

Also, we've picked up Greg McGrath from the Jersey Reds after their woes. A bit of front row cover that's very much welcome.

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Post by neilthom7 Fri Oct 06 2023, 19:39

Yeah good to get some cover in the front row, hopefully he can make it permanent.

Game is on BBC iPlayer tomorrow

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Post by neilthom7 Mon Oct 16 2023, 21:03


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