Ulster Rugby vs Saracens


Following the postponement of Ulster’s first ERCC game against Oyonnax last weekend due to the tragic events in Paris, Nick Williams believes the the squad is feeling fresh ahead of the Saracens challenge this weekend…

Billy Vunipola was one of eight Saracens players to play for England in the RWC 2015, however lining up opposite him doesn’t phase Williams: “It’s why we play the game, we like to play against the big teams and the big players. He is playing outstanding rugby at the moment and he has got great people around him that give him the chance to do what he has been doing. “He is a very strong boy and a great off-loader, but you can’t really

“Saracens were very impressive against Toulouse, they play very wise and disciplined rugby and are very tough to play against. Look across the board at their team and it is difficult to find a weakness. As a team we have trained well this week, on Monday we had our heads in the analysis room and had a look at how they play. “They have a great defensive team, they have one


or a maximum of two at every ruck when they are defending - they have poachers in their squad like Jacques Burger, Will Fraser and Kelly Brown. Saracens have an international forward pack and their backline isn’t too shabby either, Brad Barritt being the cornerstone there. Our coaches have been putting their heads

lock down on one person with a team like Saracens. You need to try and pick some weaknesses, maybe take some charges off him by cutting him early but we know he is a very dangerous player, one of a lot of them in their squad.” Nick’s contribution to the Ulster

together and we’re looking at ways to negate their threats and to try and put our mark on the game early. We need to get the details right to give them a real contest.” Having missed out on game time last weekend, it will be even more important to start Europe off with a win at home... “We have to win all of our home games, it’s a no brainer,” says Williams. “Rory (Best) has been talking up big time this week about our discipline, which has probably been the worst aspect of our season so far. We need to put that in gear otherwise Owen Farrell is going to take us for a ride with his boot. 50/55 metres out, we have to have our heads screwed on and make sure we aren’t making silly mistakes because we know the damage he can do. “Two years ago is two years ago and it hasn’t been mentioned once this week, it’s a new team, a new season, new personnel, so we are looking forward to it.”

squad this season has been pretty impressive – he has notched up five starts, two tries, 53 carries, 166 metres gained, made 45 tackles, 30 passes and picked up one man of the match award… “They are all just numbers at the end of the day, I have always believed rugby is a team sport and I wouldn’t be able to achieve these stats if it wasn’t for the boys around me, they give me the chance to express myself. “My family is happy and I’ve always told people if my family is happy, it makes me want to play, not just for the lads but for the Ulster crowd as well. It’s great to have all that data but at the end of the day it’s just about getting that little egg shaped ball over the white line, as long as I’m doing my job and getting better at it and playing within the perimeters of the game and how the coaches want to play, I’ll be happy!”


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