Marshall hoping to maintain flying form

Luke Marshall: Has only missed one game for Ulster so far this season. Picture: Oliver McVeigh/SPORTSFILE

HEINEKEN CUP POOL FIVE:
Benetton Treviso v Ulster
Luke Marshall has played more games than any other Ulster player this season and is loving every minute of it.

When the Ireland centre lines up alongside Darren Cave in the midfield tomorrow afternoon in Treviso, he will have started 14 of Ulster’s 15 games, including the two pre-season friendlies against Leinster and Leicester Tigers.

“The only game I have missed is the Pro12 game in Llanelli against the Scarlets,” enthuses Marshall, who had a traumatic time with concussion issues at the tail-end of last season.

“It’s the most rugby I have played in the last four years.

“I’m not feeling too bad at all. I was a little tired at the end of October, but the rest before the Scarlets game, then not being involved with the Samoa international helped me enormously.

“I’m just happy to be fit, and playing on a regular basis. You can live with tiredness,” said the 22-year-old from Ballymena who has four Ireland appearances under his belt and who was happy with his two-try strike against the Italians last week at Ravenhill.

“I really enjoyed that game and overall, it was a good performance. It was nice to get a big home win, although it does put us into a bit of a dangerous position in being a little complacent. But we know while it was a big win, Treviso are going to be a completely difference team at home. After all, they have beaten Munster this season and ran Cardiff extremely close as well.

“We must front up as it is going to be physical. They are a pretty direct side and we must show the same intensity. If we lose this week it will make our job for the remainder of the pool games that much harder.

“A lot of people are saying that the big game will be final one at Welford Road, but away to Treviso and then facing Montpellier at home are two massive games which we must win before that,” said Marshall.

Marshall enjoys playing with Cave in midfield. “I’m very comfortable with Darren. I have played a lot of rugby with him over the past few years and we really getting to appreciate each other and reading each other’s minds, like last week’s first try when I anticipated him and was on his shoulder to score. He does all the hard work,” laughed Marshall.


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