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Jonathan Bradley of Belfast Telegraph (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

It was far from a party like 1999 but Ulster's return to action is worth celebrating

Jonathan Bradley



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All quiet: The players of Ulster and Connacht line up in front of the empty stands at the Aviva Stadium

All quiet: The players of Ulster and Connacht line up in front of the empty stands at the Aviva Stadium

�INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ulster coach Dan McFarland

Ulster coach Dan McFarland

�INPHO/Billy Stickland

All quiet: The players of Ulster and Connacht line up in front of the empty stands at the Aviva Stadium

Think of Ulster Rugby journeying their way down to Dublin and it's impossible to avoid images of 1999 coming to the mind.

The pictures painted that day by supporters - far more memorable than the on field action as the province overcame Colomiers to be crowned European champs - proved such an indelible part of not just that season's unforgettable story, but what we think of as Ulster Rugby in the modern era.

So many wanted to be in attendance at the old Lansdowne Road that stories of how the team bus was buoyed by signs stuck along the motorway declaring their support, as well as instructing the last one out of Ulster to turn out the lights, became a part of team lore.