Ulster Rugby vs Llanelli Scarlets


Describe your first appearance for Ulster? My first appearance was against Glasgow Warriors in 2012. I remember being so nervous I wasn’t able to eat much the whole day leading up to the game. It was my first season for Ulster and when Mark Anscombe told me I would start the first game it was such a surreal experience. The game went by so quickly and most of it was a blur to be honest. What are your top five moments in an Ulster jersey? I would have to say… 1. Ospreys at Kingspan Stadium in 2015 - my first league game running the boys out as captain. A moment I will cherish forever. 2. Treviso at Ravenhill in 2013 - my first European start and first European Man of the Match Award. 3. Connacht at Kingspan Stadium in 2015 - I had 4. Oyonnax at Kingspan Stadium in 2016 - my first time captaining Ulster in a European game. I was fortunate enough to score a try in the first five minutes and we ended up with a massive 56-3 bonus point win. 5. Leinster at Kingspan Stadium in 2016 - my birthday was a few days before this game and my fiancé, Nicola, had organised for my dad to come over on a surprise visit. To have him in the stands while we put 30 points on Leinster was such a special moment for me. The toughest game you have played in and why? I guess the toughest games I’ve been involved in are the games where we come off the pitch knowing that we have underachieved. A few games come to mind but Leinster in the semi- finals last season stands out. We were in a situation in the run in to the semis where we really had to scrap for a playoff spot. We managed to win 5 out of 6 games to secure a spot in the

semi-finals and were in incredible form. Going into the semi we really felt it was our time to go and win the PRO12. To then go and fall short against Leinster again really did hurt and was tough to swallow, but is definitely an emotion that drives this team everyday to be better this season. The toughest opponent you have faced and why? There are a few hookers who stand out - Guilhem Guirado, Schalk Brits, Olivier Azam or Tom Youngs. But my toughest opponent would have to be George Smith - simply because of the way he knocked me out in the Irish Wolfhounds’ game against the Barbarians. I took a switch pass off Conor Murray and tried to run over George - that was the last thing I remembered until I came back round in the medical room. What has changed from cap 1 to cap 100? years, been involved in some unbelievable games for Ulster, travelled Europe, improved as a rugby player, got engaged and embraced the Ulster Rugby culture. So there have been quite a few changes but they have all been for the better and I like to think I’ve grown as a person over that time. Achieving 100 caps as must be a great honour? Getting to 100 caps for Ulster is extremely humbling. It’s a Province that I love playing for and I never take the opportunity of pulling the jersey on for granted. To be able to run out as captain on this occasion is a massive honour and it will be a very proud moment, one I will never forget. We have such a good vibe amongst the squad this season and I genuinely can’t wait to get out there again with the boys. My mother, Gael, is over for tonight’s game and will be there supporting with Nicola, so I just want to give a shout out to them for all the support, through the highs and lows, over the years. They have been such rocks for me. I’ve been fortunate to have some incredible experiences on and off the field since I joined Ulster. I’ve made lifelong friends over the

ROB HERRING 12 family and friends over for this game and it was so incredible having them all over to experience an inter-pro and support me at Kingspan.



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