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Ulster need international class rugby for double: Doak

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster head coach Neil Doak has warned his side will need to be playing international-quality rugby if they are to get the better of Clermont in the Stade Marcel-Michelin on Sunday afternoon (3.05pm kick-off).

The province edged a nine-try thriller against the French giants in Kingspan Stadium last weekend to give them a real chance of progressing to the Champions Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2014.

Win this weekend and they would be in the driving seat for the last eight but Doak believes the challenge will be even greater in the Auvergne.

"The European games, they're massive," he said. "They bring a different edge to things, and everybody knows what needs to be done. You need to be at your best. You've got to be the best on the pitch.

"On the back of Saturday, Rory Best and the boys were saying that was like an international. The intensity, the speed of the game, the quality. It's going to have to be another massive performance on Sunday, away and in Clermont."

The former scrum-half was pessimistic when asked if Ulster would be boosted by any potential returns from injury.

He revealed that both captain Andrew Trimble and Stuart Olding had trained with the squad yesterday but said both were "not overly comfortable".

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