Mulholland determined to put up fight for silverware
Just five days after making his competitive senior debut at the Dragons, Stephen Mulholland is back in action - though this time for Ulster A in their opening British and Irish Cup clash with Bristol at the Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm).
It truly was a baptism of fire as the 25-year-old back rower found himself up against Toby Faletau after an unexpected and late call-up saw him being rapidly re-routed from training with Ballymena for the AIL.
And though there were, naturally, a few errors, Mulholland acquitted himself reasonably well. Since then, though, he has been preparing to do battle for the A team as they bid to try and reverse the trend of recent years by having a decent B&I Cup campaign.
To that end, Ulster have appointed a specific A team coach in former England international Alex Codling with the plan being to give this level a much-needed leg-up.
"I think the A team will do better this year because of the new coaching panel and the boys want to do better because they haven't (produced) in previous years," said Mulholland (pictured) who is on an Ulster Development contract.
"They are definitely taking it more seriously this year and Les (Kiss) is also looking at it. You really have to play well for the A team to get into the seniors."
Ulster A also face Bedford Blues and a Scarlets Premiership Select in their pool.
Ulster A: J McPhillips; R McBurney, C Patterson, M Best, R Lyttle, S Windsor, P Rowley; R Murphy, J Andrew, B Ross, P Browne, A O'Connor, C Ross, W Faloon (capt), S Mulholland.
Replacements: J Murphy, M Lagan, J Simpson, A Thompson, C Joyce, L Free, A Magrath.