Speaking on BBC Sport’s Rugby Podcast, Dan McFarland displayed exactly why he has been an ideal fit as head coach of Ulster. The Englishman, formerly assistant coach at Connacht and Scotland, clearly understands the culture at the province, one which he has helped create.
When asked whether he feels Ulster are going under the radar, despite two wins over Clermont and one over Leinster this season, McFarland gave a blunt but grounded response.
“We haven’t won shit yet,” he said. “Is it under the radar? What do we want to be on the radar for? I want us to be respected for what we are.
“We’re a team that win a chunk of games but as Ugo (Monye) says, culturally, we’re about that competitiveness and fight because perhaps there’s little bit of a chip on the shoulder, but we’re also about development and growth and that’s what I want us to be known for, but if that gets you on the radar then fair enough.”
‘What have we won to be on the radar for?’
Great to have @UlsterRugby boss Dan McFarland on RUW this week as they take a lead home v champs Toulouse. McFarland doing a top job in Belfast as he continues to build a very impressive coaching CV.
🎧: https://t.co/xbdok76gWc pic.twitter.com/oyoU6Fbx7Y
— Chris Jones BBC (@chjones9) April 13, 2022
He went on to clearly state that Ulster’s goal was to win trophies, but is under no illusion as to how difficult that will be. He wasn’t going to make excuses either about a lack of resources, as many like to do.
Ultimately we are in a position now where I think we’ve demonstrated that we can win big games, that we are able to compete.
Whether we’re resourced in the same way as some of the others, the amount of people or money or whatever it is, it doesn’t really matter. We’re trying to win silver, it’s really really tough to win silver, like really tough.
The margins are so small.
His words gave off a feeling of love and appreciation for the province, reminiscent of Pat Lam during his tenure with Connacht, and will instil confidence in Ulster heading into Saturday’s round of 16 Champions Cup clash with Toulouse.
The game kick-offs at 8 pm at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast, with Ulster carrying over a 26-20 advantage from the first-leg.