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Champions Cup Oyonnax v Ulster: Boost for Ulster as Euro rivals sack coach

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 13/11/2015

Intense competition: Rory Best
Intense competition: Rory Best

Ulster's Champions Cup opponents Oyonnax have been thrown into disarray ahead of Saturday's opening pool game in France with the news that their coach Olivier Azam has been sacked.

Having only arrived in the summer, the former Lyon supremo was shown the door after leading the side to six defeats in his opening eight games.

Ulster will not drop their guard going into the game but the upheaval at the Top14 outfit has to be a bonus in a competition where every advantage is crucial.

Nevertheless, Ulster skipper Rory Best has warned his side that there are no second chances on the European stage.

With star-studded Saracens and Toulouse also in their pool, he said: "It's not win or bust but what we don't want to do is get to January and say 'if only we'd got that win in Oyonnax.'

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"It's such an intense competition, there's only six games and then you're either out or going through to the knockout stage.You need to take the first one and give it everything you've got.

"You don't want to say 'my goodness we beat Toulouse home and away but we're still behind Saracens because we didn't get an away win there at Oyonnax.'

"You don't get a second chance. If we lose, we can't say well we'll pick it up along the way like you can in the league."

The team to face the French strugglers will be announced at lunch-time today and coach Les Kiss will have Andrew Trimble, Louis Ludik, Nick Williams, Luke Marshall, Roger Wilson and Callum Black back at his disposal.

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