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Piutau relishing the battle for success at Europe's top table

By Jonathan Bradley

Charles Piutau's score in the huge 39-32 win over Clermont may have been something special - just don't expect the man himself to admit it.

With captain Rory Best having opted for the line-out instead of a shot at the posts, it came at a crucial moment for Ulster and Piutau's pace, power and footwork were all required to beat the three men between him and the line.

"I was lucky enough to stumble over," said the All Black modestly. "To get over any time is special.

"It was a great effort from the team. The forwards muscled up and the backs just finished what we could."

Ulster's triumph on Saturday has kept their hopes alive in the Champions Cup but they will need to be even better when up against the same opposition on their home patch on Sunday.

"It's one of the best places to play," said Piutau. "I can't wait to experience it. It's going to be a hostile crowd but that's what rugby is all about - hopefully we put on a performance.

"It's a quality side, a big French team and there's a lot on the line. The intensity, the speed, the quality - it's all a step up."

Ireland have confirmed that their two Tests against Japan this summer will be on June 17 and 24.

Ulster's game with Glasgow has been moved to February 18 with Zebre a week later now on February 26.

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