Brian McLaughlin urges his Ulster young guns to blaze of glory
Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has called on his young guns to stand up and fire tonight as his unfamiliar-looking side take on a mammoth task against the might of PRO12 leaders Leinster at the RDS in Dublin (BBC2 5.30pm).
McLaughlin is shorn of all his Ireland players bar Tom Court, who is on bench duty, but has still opted to rest the remainder of his usual frontliners for this clash as Ulster, badly needing to revive their League campaign, have only a four-day turnaround before their next game against Munster on Friday night at Ravenhill.
As a result McLaughlin has invested in youth with five players making their competitive debuts for eighth-placed Ulster tonight as a side largely made up of personnel who have recently seen Ravens action attempt to become the first Ulster team to win in Dublin since 1999 and end Leinster’s current run of 11 winning games.
“It’s a bit of a gamble,” McLaughlin admitted, “but from this team you are looking for huge energy and you are looking for them to stand up and show what they’re capable of doing.
“We want to use our squad and give our young guys a chance. It’s a great experience for them so we’ll see what they’re made of.
“They’re relishing the challenge and they’ll turn up and givetheir best on the day.”
Callum Black and Academy players Chris Farrell, Peter Nelson, Michael Allen and Ali Birch all make their first competitive starts against the Heineken Cup holders.