Belfast Telegraph

Ulster's Darren Cave bids to bow out with silver lining

 

Ulster's Darren Cave
Ulster's Darren Cave
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster's Darren Cave says he is chasing silverware not records as his rugby career draws to a close.

The 32-year-old centre will be hanging up his boots at the end of this season and has been given the captaincy by Dan McFarland for tonight's PRO14 derby visit of Leinster to Kingspan (5.15pm).

The dead-rubber contest will be the Holywood man's 227th in an Ulster jersey, just two behind Andrew Trimble's record. Rather than worry about retiring as the province's most capped player, though, Cave says his focus is on signing off with a PRO14 title.

"You think about the record because people talk to you about it but in the massive picture, someone will overtake it eventually anyway," Cave said.

"It wasn't that long ago that it was Paddy Wallace. It's not something that lasts forever. But at the same time, I remember playing my first game away to Borders and phoning my dad to say to him 'can you believe that for the rest of my life I can always say that I played for Ulster.' It would be nice to be the most capped player but if you gave me a choice of the cap record or winning the league, it's the league every time so that's where the energy is going.

"If the record comes too, that'd be a nice way to go."

With next week's PRO14 quarter-final against Connacht in mind, McFarland has heavily rotated his side for today's game, making 15 changes from the team that beat Edinburgh.

Marcus Rea could make his debut off the bench while Tommy O'Hagan and David Busby will returns from injuries.

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