Belfast Telegraph

Retiring Cave can inspire Ulster, says McFarland


Darren Cave
Darren Cave
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster coach Dan McFarland believes retiring star Darren Cave can lead the side to victory against Leinster in the PRO14 finale on Saturday (5.15pm kick-off).

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Cave will be made captain for the game as he nears the end of his tenure at Kingspan Stadium. Win or lose this weekend, the province will face a quarter-final against Connacht back in Belfast seven days later so this is not quite a goodbye for the man who has made more Ulster appearances than anybody apart from Andrew Trimble.

But McFarland believes Cave has earned the right to lead out the side one last time before he hangs up his boots.

"We've got plenty of people who can captain that team but Darren is a good leader of men," he said.

"He'll do a good job as the captain. I think that will add to the performance but there's also the aspect that he's playing at Kingspan when he's retiring at the end of the year. It's a great honour to captain the side. Everybody will respect that and it's a huge day for him. On top of that, it's an inter-pro at Kingspan, what a great occasion."

Cave has already tried his hand at media work and McFarland believes he will make a success of whatever he does after rugby. "I've got a lot of time for him," he said.

"It means a lot to him to represent this province, to have played for one club throughout his career. He's so proud to have done that.

"He's a smart fella, he doesn't mind speaking his mind. He's confident and he's got opinions. He's going to be successful."

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