By Jim Stokes
Belfast is like a home from home for former international Marty Moore who makes his Ulster debut tonight against his former employers, Wasps, at the Ricoh Arena.
Moore, who has 10 Ireland caps, left his native Leinster at the end of the 2015/16 season but the move to Coventry left him in the international wilderness.
Now he hopes his move to the northern province will help him resurrect his international career. And his settling in period has gone better than expected with the likes of former teammates Jordi Murphy and John Cooney in the ranks at the Kingspan.
“It shows the guys are moving around a bit, which maybe a few years ago wasn’t the done thing.
“Take Alan O’Connor. He didn’t really break through at the youngest age at Leinster but he’s now captaining Ulster at 24 or 25 years old.
“Hopefully, I can make some sort of an impact like he has,” said the 27-year-old.
And he insists that Ireland ambitions are still on the cards: “I suppose I’m not really in the pecking order at the minute, so all my focus is to just play for Ulster. It’s about getting a white shirt on me, and seeing what I can do.”
The game will also be new coach Dan McFarland’s debut in the coaching box.
ULSTER: W Addison; C Gilroy, S Moore, S McCloskey, A Kernohan; J McPhillips, J Stewart; E O’Sullivan, J Andrew, M Moore, A O’Connor,capt, K Treadwell, M Coetzee, S Reidy, N Timoney.
Replacements: A McBurney, A Warwick, T O’Toole, A Thompson, C Montgomery, D Shanahan, A Curtis, D Cave, G Jones, C Henry, J Owens.