In with a shout: Ulster Rugby confident of another big performance in Dublin
Published 28/12/2013 | 08:30
Paul Marshall has called on his Ulster team-mates to help erase the memory of last May's PRO12 final defeat to Leinster when the sides meet again at a sold-out RDS tonight (kick-off 6.45).
And the 28-year-old scrum-half wants Ulster to replicate their dramatic victory, secured two months before the PRO12 final in a regulation league game, at the Dublin venue which saw them get one over their southern rivals for the first time in 14 years of trying in Leinster's back yard.
"We were disappointed with how the final went but it (returning to the RDS) doesn't hold any fear for us," said Marshall (right).
"It was a great performance down there last year," he added, referring to that earlier backs-to-the wall victory, "but I think when we play well we can beat any team in the league home or away."
Mark Anscombe's in-form squad head to Dublin in search of a sixth straight win – including their back-to-back European victories – and haven't conceded a try for 267 minutes with Zebre being the last side to cross the Ulster line four games ago at the end of last month.
Ulster, currently in fourth place, have made a total of nine changes to the side which struggled to beat Zebre last week, with eight Ireland internationals – Luke Marshall, Darren Cave, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall, Declan Fitzpatrick, Dan Tuohy and Roger Wilson – all returning to the fold.
Fifth-placed Leinster are without most of their big names though British and Irish Lion Sean O'Brien is returning from injury while fellow internationals Dave Kearney and Mike McCarthy are back in the starting side.