Belfast Telegraph

It would be great to see the Rea brothers pack a mighty punch

Marcus Rea (left) with brother Matty
Marcus Rea (left) with brother Matty
Chris Henry

By Chris Henry

Considering Saturday's game was one with nothing riding on it in terms of the PRO14 table, the derby between Ulster and Leinster was one that I enjoyed and there were a few sights beyond the result to bring smiles to Ulster faces.

Seeing Marcus Rea interviewed after the game, you had to be happy for the guy and it was clear just how much it meant to him to make his debut alongside his big brother Matty.

Sometimes you'll see a guy make his debut and then never be seen again, so when you're given a chance like that you really have to go above and beyond to ensure you make an impact and catch the coach's eye.

There's no doubt Marcus did just that and, looking at him come the final whistle, he certainly left it all out there, he looked shattered afterwards.

Matty is a player who I think brings real value to the squad as well and it would be something else if we could see the pair of them become a fixture in the Ulster pack over the next few years.

As a former back-rower, it was encouraging to see a back-rower from the Academy making his mark too. We've seen a whole host of young players catching the eye under Dan McFarland's watch but no back-five forward as yet.

With Marcus having bucked that trend, I wouldn't bet against the likes of Joe Dunleavy and Azur Allison getting a shot over the next 12 months either.

If Rea Junior was deserving of his man of the match honours, and Darren Cave, Pete Nelson and Ian Nagle all showed up too, I'd spare a word for David Busby.

Back when I was injured at the start of the season, I'd be spending a bit of time in the treatment room with him and Luke Marshall, the pair of them becoming virtually inseparable as they worked their way back from similar knee injuries.

I can vouch for how hard those guys worked to get back into an Ulster jersey, as well as the mental toughness they showed during what must have been some tough times, and it was great to see Buzz following Luke back into action this weekend.

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