As Rob Herring and the rest of Ulster’s Ireland contingent head for Portugal and a Six Nations training camp, the hooker was thrilled to sign off provincial duty with another big win.
Given that Ulster’s fixtures directly following the championship are at present slated to be on a two-game mini-tour in South Africa, those logging heavy duty for Andy Farrell’s side may well not feature again in white until the first leg of the last-16 tie with Toulouse in the second weekend of April.
“I think it is always important," said the 23-times capped 31-year-old of carrying momentum into the international window.
"I think going into the autumn a lot of the boys were playing well, then we became unstuck in that Connacht game and that potentially had an effect on selection.
“You want guys coming in playing well and confident, all the guys coming into camp have put up their hand. Selection will be what selection is but I think a lot of guys have done what they can to put themselves in the best position.”
This Portuguese camp, where Ireland also prepared for the 2019 World Cup, offers one final opportunity for those players to stake a claim. Herring won just one cap in the autumn, although it should be noted it did come in a win over the All Blacks, and there is a real battle between himself, Ronan Kelleher and Dan Sheehan for the two spots in the match-day ‘23’ for the opener against Wales on February 5.
"I’m looking forward to a bit of sun first of all,” laughed Herring after his two tries in the wet and wind of Ulster’s victory over Clermont.
“But it is going to be tough work, the last time we were in Portugal it was pretty hard and there were a couple of good hit-outs.
“It’s exciting. It comes as much down to what you put into training as what you put into games and the coach is always watching so it’s a good way to come into what I think is going to be a pretty exciting Six Nations.
“Everyone wants to be involved and playing and there is going to be a lots of competition for positions.”
While his mind will firmly be on Ireland, Herring will keep an eye on Ulster too during an important run in the URC.
“We have been a bit up and down with the Munster game but obviously but in Europe you can’t ask for any more.
“We were four from four so we can’t be happier than that but we have a big block of games now during the Six Nations which will ultimately decide our season in the URC.”