Willie Faloon wants to end his Ravenhill career on a high
Willie Faloon knows he is likely to go through the whole gamut of emotions this evening at Twickenham.
While he wants a win for Ulster — his native province and the club he has served since 2005 when he joined the Academy — he would prefer to be involved at some stage rather than merely watching his colleagues succeed.
And while he will celebrate with his friends and comrades-in-arms should they lift the trophy, he will do so in the knowledge that when they return for pre-season training he will not be joining them.
All told — backroom staff included — there are 13 who won’t be coming back to the Ulster camp next season.
“You want to put in one last big effort for the club,” the Connacht-bound open-side said. “It’s a really strange situation with my last match being a Heineken Cup final.
“But I’m just looking forward to it for what it is, though obviously I’d like to get a run-out at some point. There isn’t a bigger stage to bow out on.”
Describing his own mood as “good”, he comes across as a man determined to enjoy his time as an Ulster player right up until the last moment.
“I suppose the fact that my last game for Ulster is a European Cup final does add a wee bit to it,” smiles Faloon. “I’m just looking forward to it for what it is. There’s no point in looking at anything past it; time enough doing that when it’s over.
“I’m just looking forward to getting a bit of a run-out. I’d like that — playing in a Heineken Cup final wouldn’t be a bad way to finish.”
It is impossible to predict what way Ulster will use their bench; in the quarter-final against Munster they used none of their replacements. In the semi-final against Edinburgh, they deployed four.
Meanwhile, with 13 departing, Faloon smiles when it is suggested it could be quite a party afterwards.
Professional and committed to the end, Faloon replies: “Yeah, but first we need to give ourselves a reason to party.”