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Boss out to end Ulster adventure on top note

By Niall Crozier

Scrum-half Isaac Boss is on the home furlong of an Ulster career which began five years ago.

He wants to leave on a high. A top four place in the Magners League is on his list of things to do.

Since enlisting he has made 102 Ulster appearances — 83 of them from the off — scoring 14 tries, two of them this season.

The Kiwi, who was a member of the 1999 under-19 New Zealand Rugby World Cup team, played for both Waikato and the Wellington Hurricanes before joining Ulster in 2005.

It didn’t take him long to make an impact; he made his full international debut for Ireland in June 2006 — as fate would have it, on the tour of New Zealand.

Boss qualifies for Ireland through his maternal grandmother who hailed from Glenarm.

He has a dozen full caps, his undoubted high point being the try he scored against England in Ireland’s record-breaking 43-13 win three years ago at Croke Park.

Boss has been an Ulster ever-present this season, playing in all 17 of their fixtures to date and marking his 100th appearance for the province with a ‘man-of-the-match’ performance — which included a fine try — against Edinburgh at Ravenhill in mid-January.

When the season ends, however, he will be moving on to join Leinster.

Having enjoyed his time with Ulster, he wants to bow out on a winning note, leaving the supporters and his playing colleagues with fond memories of his time spent amongst them.

Explaining his decision to go he said: “As a professional it’s about having to take whatever opportunities come along.

“I’ve loved my time here and I know I’m going to miss people, but sometimes you just have to take what’s on offer and do what you think is right for you.”

He knows, too, that he is leaving a side on the up and up.

“We’ve made progress, there have been a couple of very good signings and there are more good young players coming through. Undoubtedly Ulster are moving forward,” he said.

Despite having dropped points last time out, he is confident they can make the play-offs

“We were disappointed after that draw with the Dragons but the mood in the camp is very good,” he said.

“We’re confident that we can make the top four. But we know the next few games are key for us.

“They’re crucial, but provided we play as we can, I am confident we can reach the play-offs.

“We’ve had guys away and we’ve had the Ravens playing matches. Now everybody’s back, it’s about switching on to the task in hand.”

The prospect of qualifying appeals enormously to his competitive instinct.

“I welcome the new format. I think it’s a good thing because it will keep everybody trying to play right the way through to the end.

“Sometimes in the past you were just fulfilling fixtures at this stage of the season. Now there’s something at stake and that’s much more exciting for the players and supporters,” he said.

“It’s always a lot more interesting when you’ve something to play for. The way things are now, these changes mean there’s something to go for.”

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