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Doak primes Ulster for Connacht challenge

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster head coach Neil Doak has said that this evening's trip to Connacht (6.00pm) will be a real test of his side's Pro12 title ambitions.

The province currently sits fifth in the table and outside of the play-off positions ahead of a festive double-header against Connacht and Munster with Doak keen to bridge the gap to their Irish rivals above them.

Against a Connacht side who are getting better and better, he is expecting a real test.

"Over the last couple of years, they've been a challenge for us and it's getting more and more each year," said Doak (below).

"They play a brand of rugby that really, really challenges you. This is a great start for them, they want to keep that momentum. We want to stop that momentum, it's as simple as that. It's a big challenge."

With IRFU player management to the fore, Ulster have elected to rest skipper Rory Best while Chris Henry is not risked after a minor shoulder injury.

Rory Scholes replaces the injured Craig Gilroy who fractured an eye-socket last week.

After beating Toulouse twice, the young wing says Ulster must take their European form back into the league.

"It's two massive games," Scholes said. "We have to take the momentum from Toulouse but not dwell on it. We have to look forward now, that's done and dusted."

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