New Ulster signing Henry Speight: Ulster experience has been ‘awesome’

New Ulster signing Henry Speight hopes to leave the province ‘a better player than when I arrive.’

New Ulster signing Henry Speight: Ulster experience has been ‘awesome’

By Jim Stokes

New Ulster signing Henry Speight hopes to leave the province ‘a better player than when I arrive.’

The versatile Australia international - who won the first of the 19 Wallaby caps against Ireland four years ago - can play on the wing or in the centre was persuaded to move to Ulster on a short-term deal after speaking with his Brumbies team-mate Christian Lealiifano.

And he gets his first taste of action at the Kingspan Stadium this evening when hot-shots Scarlets come to town (5.15 pm).

Speight, along with two other new recruits Will Addison and Billy Burns, get a chance to show their talents as Ulster search for redemption following a disastrous spell last season.

There is also a start for a fit-again Springbok Marcell Coetzee, who came through a test on his second knee reconstruction in as many years during the pre-season friendly against Wasps last week.

Speight, though, wants to make the same impression as Lealiifano did last season.

So far, the experience has been awesome. I’m always looking for an experience other than Super Rugby after over 100 games with the Brumbies. Christian had an awesome time here so it was a no a brainer to come,’’ said Speight.

“It is a great game to start of with,” said the 30-year-old, born in Fijian capital of Suva.

“We’ll have to focus on our game plan and try and stay composed. We must not be forced into too many errors as they can score tries on the counter-attack. ”

ULSTER: W Addison; C Gilroy, D Cave, S McCloskey, H Speight; B Burns, J Cooney; A Warwick, J Andrew, T O’Toole, A O’Connor (capt), I Henderson, M Coetzee, S Reidy, N Timoney.

Replacements: A McBurney, E O’Sullivan, R Kane, K Treadwell, C Henry, D Shanahan, A Curtis, A Kernohan.

SCARLETS: C Blommetjies; T Prydie, J Davies, K Fonotia, S Evans; R Patchell, S Hidalgo-Clyne; R Evans, K Owens (capt), W Kruger, D Bulbring, S Cummins, B Thomson, J Davies, J Macleod.

Replacements: R Elias, P Price, S Gardiner, E Kennedy, D Davis, G Davies, D Jones, I Nicholas.

Ref: Marius Mitrea (Italy)

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox