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Ireland Grand Slam can inspire Ulster: Stockdale


By Jonathan Bradley

Fresh from being awarded the Six Nations Player of the Tournament, Jacob Stockdale is relishing the chance to get back into Ulster colours this afternoon.

Part of a Grand Slam winning team, and having set a new try record, the 21-year-old was handed his latest accolade back at Kingspan Stadium in front of his Ulster team-mates and then named in the side to take on Cardiff at the Arms Park today (3.15pm kick-off).

"It's been good to get back in and have a bit of craic with the guys that I've known a long time," the winger said. "We're training with a good intensity and that makes it exciting to come back in.

"It's different coming in from a team that's just won a championship into one that's fighting to stay in the play-off positions.

"But nonetheless, it's still goals there, we want to do as best we can over the next five games. It's tough but the way we're training, everyone is up for it.

"To be honest, the hardest part is just trying to remember all the Ulster calls again. The Ireland calls are just battered into your head so much over the last couple of months that it is hard to switch back.

"But I don't need any motivation to play for Ulster. It's where I grew up. It's the team I have always watched and I played for Ulster before I played for Ireland so I don't think I'll have a problem in terms of motivation."

Stockdale is joined in the side by his fellow Grand Slam winner Iain Henderson, though skipper Rory Best has been given an extra week's rest.

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