The first inter-pro derby of the season kicks off this weekend as Ulster and Connacht get their season underway in Belfast this weekend.
After showing promise last season, Ulster will be disappointed to come away with no silverware. Two heartbreaking defeats to Toulouse and eventual URC winners The Stormers ensured it was another season of falling at the final hurdle for Dan McFarland’s men.
For Connacht, they will hope to build on signs of promise last season. Mack Hansen, Conor Oliver, and Cian Prendergast all had promising seasons, and will hope to build on last season’s performances. Seeing out games will be the biggest issue for Andy Friend’s men, with big games slipping through their hands last season.
Here is all you need to know for Ulster vs Connacht
When is Ulster vs Connacht?
Ulster vs Connacht is this Saturday in Kingspan at 7:35.
How can I watch Ulster vs Connacht?
Live coverage is being shown by TG4, with coverage starting at 7.0o
Ulster were moments away from a home final in the competition last season, until a converted try after the 80th minute by The Stormers saw another season without silverware. Having the composure to see through big games and end their trophy drought has to be the goal for Ulster, who will want to show silverware for the progress they have made in recent years.
For Connacht, inexperience in vital moments of the season cost them dearly. With new experienced signings in Josh Murphy, Peter Dooley and Adam Byrne, and a change up on the coaching structure, the play-offs and Champions Cup qualification has to be the aim.
The return of Jacob Stockdale on the wing for Ulster is the main talking point for Ulster. Stockdlae has injured a difficult 18 months through injury, and will be keen to remind everyone of his talents with a strong start to the season. He starts in the back three alongside Robert Baloucoune and Stewart Moore, who were both named in the emerging Ireland squad.
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) September 16, 2022
Connacht come into tomorrow's game without the injured Jack Carty, Jared Butler and Finlay Bealham. Peter Dooley, Josh Murphy and Bryon Rolston make their debuts, with Gavin Thornbury captaining the side.
🟢𝙏𝙀𝘼𝙈 𝘼𝙉𝙉𝙊𝙐𝙉𝘾𝙀𝙈𝙀𝙉𝙏 🟢
And we're back! 😍
Here's our #BKTURC squad to face @UlsterRugby, captained by Gavin Thornbury with up to 5️⃣ potential debutants 💪#ULSvCON
Full story: https://t.co/7vX4xhJJST pic.twitter.com/kznKNUszc1
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) September 16, 2022