Ulster Rugby vs Llanelli Scarlets



OFFICERS John Kinnear // President Bobby Stewart // Senior Vice President John McKibbin // Junior Vice President John McKibbin // Honorary Secretary Michael Boyd // Honorary Treasurer Denis Gardiner // Competitions Secretary EXECUTIVE TEAM Shane Logan // Chief Executive Chris Webster // Domestic Rugby Manager Audrey Robinson // Financial Controller Fiona Hampton // Head of Sales & Marketing

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you here to Kingspan Stadium for this Guinness PRO12 match against Scarlets.

I would particularly like to welcome the officials, players and supporters who have made the trip from West Wales for their second visit of the season. You are all very welcome in Belfast. The importance of tonight’s game in terms of Ulster’s play-off hopes cannot be underestimated. The province currently sits in second place in the Guinness PRO12, level on points with third placed Munster and four points behind leaders, Glasgow Warriors. Last weekend, the province recorded a hard fought 20 points to 17 win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield. Down to 13 men for the last ten minutes of the match, Ulster showed remarkable defensive qualities and resolve to hold the home team out in the final stages. Those four points could prove crucial in the coming weeks. Scarlets arrive at Kingspan Stadium after a draw against Munster. Like our own PRO12 fixture at Parc Y Scarlets at the start of the season, Scarlets were in the lead but the visitors came back to level the match. Wayne Pivac has the Welsh region extremely well drilled and they come to Kingspan Stadium aiming to overtake Connacht and claim sixth position in the PRO12. Tonight we welcome Dan Tuohy back to the side. Our injury list has been well documented in recent months. It is great to see players like Dan returning to fitness at such a crucial time of the

season. He always makes a significant difference to any side that he plays in and no doubt Joe Schmidt will be monitoring his progress very closely. On Sunday Ireland take on England at the Aviva Stadium. They will be aiming to make it three wins in a row in this seasons RBS 6 Nations. Good luck to the Ireland management team and their players, especially the Ulster representatives in the squad – Rory Best, Tommy Bowe, Jared Payne, Iain Henderson and Robbie Diack. It is a seismic game in this season’s championship. If Ireland were to win it then they will be well placed to go on and win a second successive title. Last weekend we saw some excellent rugby in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup quarter-finals. Congratulations to Coleraine Inst, Belfast Inst, Wallace HS and Methodist College Belfast for reaching the semi- finals. The games will be played on the 3rd and 5th March here at Kingspan Stadium and I know that the boys would appreciate all support. Thank you for being part of another sell-out crowd this evening and I would encourage you to get behind your team and Stand up for the Ulstermen. Yours in Rugby John Kinnear // President IRFU (Ulster Branch)

Kingspan Stadium, 85 Ravenhill Park, Belfast, BT6 0DG T // +44 (0)28 9049 3222 ulsterrugby.com


www. ulster rugby.com


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