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Jackson can bounce back on Euro stage

COACH Mark Anscombe has immediately put to bed any gripes about the harsh dismissal of Brian McLaughlin by doing what he was brought to Ulster to do - win.

They have won five out of five in the PRO12 League conceding less points (61) and less tries (four) than anyone else to stand on top of the table by one point, having played one match less than all but the bottom club.

Clearly, Anscombe quickly realised in research for his new post that the way Ulster were cut open at times last season - the Heineken Cup final was a prime example - could be healed.

Fortune favours the brave, they say. And the lucky, too. Anscombe happened to be employed just as chief executive Shane Logan was delivering on his goal to make Ulster a powerhouse European club.

Former heroes Tommy Bowe and Roger Wilson have returned to the fold. New Zealander Jared Payne, injured all last season, is as good as a new signing. Ireland U20 Iain Henderson is a tremendous prospect, making his European debut.

Ireland U20 captain Paddy Jackson has rebounded from the European Cup final debacle to take control of his own destiny with a maturity that has impressed Anscombe. This one will test him

Verdict: Ulster

Ulster: J Payne; T Bowe, D Cave, P Wallace, A Trimble; P Jackson, P Marshall; T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (capt), D Tuohy, I Henderson, C Henry, S Ferris.

Castres: R Teulet; M Garvey, S Bai, D Kirkpatrick, M Andreu; P Bernard, T Lacrampe; Y Forestier, M Bonello, M Coetzee, M Rolland, R Capo-Ortega, P Faasalele, Y Caballero, P Wannenburg.


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