Sam Carter Press Notes | Munster

Sam Carter Press Notes | Munster

11 days ago

Players

The Ulster second row spoke to the media to preview the URC Round 10 game versus Munster at Thomond Park on Saturday.

Here is what he had to say…

On the fixtures versus Connacht and Leinster being postponed…

“It’s been a tricky couple of weeks. We prepare as if we’re playing and that is our mindset throughout the week. If [a game] does get postponed because that’s in the best interests of the public and the team, doing what’s right around COVID-19, that’s something we have to be prepared for. We’ll get to play those games at a later date. Those particular weeks, we trained right up until the games were postponed. Our mindset doesn’t change, really.”

On how the pack prepares physically for the trip to Thomond Park…

“It’s only been two weeks and we were doing a little bit of contact and conditioning when we could with the protocols in place. It’s tough, but trust me, I know exactly what it feels coming back from an off-season in that first game, you do get stiff and sore. Hopefully it’s not like this as we’ve been able to keep up the contact over the last couple of weeks.”

On Connacht versus Munster last weekend…

“Munster will be kind of disappointed in how they played that game, although full credit to Connacht. They played really well in the last couple of weeks and got the better of us at Aviva Stadium a couple of months ago. It’s going to be tough because Munster off the back of a loss down in Thomond Park is no easy task for us.”

On Thomond Park as a venue to play in…

“I only found out that we haven’t won there since 2014, it was brought up in a meeting this morning. I’ve played there twice and came off the bench last year where we didn’t put in our best performance. Any Irish team at home is tough and heading all the way to Limerick where they pride themselves on being physical is going to be a difficult ask, but we’ve been building nicely throughout the season. We hadn’t won in Leinster in a couple of years and we were able to knock off that one. That’s the momentum we want to build and put in a good performance on Saturday.”

On the second row competition in Ulster’s squad…

“I think we’ve been doing really well. Whoever steps into that position has done a good job. I’ve been in there at times, Al O’Connor has been playing really good footy. Kieran Treadwell, when he got the opportunity against Ospreys and Clermont, he played really well. That competitive nature between us creates a really good environment to be in and to play well when you get the opportunity, otherwise you won’t get it the next week!”

On Ulster’s recent contract extensions and the impact on the squad…

“When you get guys who have been playing well for a long time and have been part of what we’re building and want to stick around, it’s obviously worth something and means something to them. Having those guys re-signing and building the environment and the culture we have growing here is really good. The representation of blokes re-signing and wanting to be part of that is massive.”

On Ulster’s young talent…

“The Academy blokes have come through and besides Duane and myself, there haven’t been too many overseas signings coming in which is a good sign; it means it’s very organic. The Academy players are coming through, getting their chances and playing the best they can when they get those opportunities. You have senior guys who would have had interest but they want to stay here and be a part of what we’re growing.”

Highlights | Ulster Rugby v Munster | Guinness PRO14

Watch the highlights from last year's New Year fixture versus Munster at Kingspan Stadium.

Upcoming Games

After this weekend, the focus returns to the Heineken Champions Cup. Ulster travel to Northampton on Saturday 16 January, before hosting Clermont in the potentially crucial final pool stage game on Saturday 22 January (5.30pm, Kingspan Stadium).

Tickets are still available for the Clermont fixture at ulster.rugby/buytickets.

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