Sport Rugby

Thursday 18 January 2018

Boss desperate to leave Ulster on a high

Leinster-bound Isaac Boss wants to end his five-year spell at Ravenhill on a high by helping Ulster reach the inaugural knock-out stages of the Magners League.

Even though the scrum-half's move to Dublin has not yet been officially announced, you can hear the emotion in his voice when he talks about Ulster finally achieving something tangible in what will be his final campaign with them.

"I'm very determined to help Ulster achieve their goal of the last four. We have had to adjust our goals throughout the season, but this one is achievable," said Boss, who will partner Ian Humphreys in tonight's away game against Scarlets.

"We are still hurting a little from the Dragons game when we threw away victory and allowed them to draw. We are thoroughly determined to make up for that in Llanelli.

"We are far from out of the running for a top-four spot. It's a case of focusing our minds on the job. Too often we let things slip, but now we have the opportunity to move up the table, and if we start with a big away win, it will give us a big boost for the remainder of the campaign."

Boss believes he is leaving behind a squad full of burgeoning talent.

"It has been a good season with some excellent results and some good young players showing that they are proving their worth at the top level," he said. "But on saying that, we are still in mid-table and we didn't qualify for the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup or the Amlin Cup. We have to start getting those important results, starting with this weekend."

The 29-year-old is desperate to re-ignite his Ireland career -- the last of his 12 caps came off the bench in the World Cup defeat to Argentina in September 2007 .

"I have not been involved of late, so I will just have to play better to get noticed. I'll not give up trying," he said.

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin has made a big call in moving Dan Tuohy into the blindside flanker's role in the absence of Ireland's Stephen Ferris.

This will be Tuohy's first start for Ulster in the No 6 jersey after a five-star performance recently in that position for the Ireland Wolfhounds victory over Scotland A recently.

There are four changes from that draw with the Dragons ,with Fijian Timoci Nagusa making his first start of the year in place of Simon Danielli, Tom Court coming in at loose-head in place of Bryan Young and Ryan Caldwell filling Tuohy's boots at lock.

Scarlets -- D Newton; J Ajuwa, R King, J Davies, A Fenby; R Priestland, T Knoyle; I Thomas, K Owens, D Manu; L Reed, D Day; J Turnbull, R Pugh, D Lyons (capt). Replacements: P John, M Rees, R McCusker, J Edwards, M Roberts, D Evans, G Maule.

Ulster -- J Smith; T Nagusa, D Cave, P Wallace, A Trimble; I Humphreys, I Boss; T Court, N Brady, BJ Botha; E O'Donoghue, R Caldwell; D Tuohy, D Pollock, C Henry (capt). Replacements: A Kyriacou, D Fitzpatrick, TJ Anderson, R Diack, P Marshall, I Whitten, N O'Connor, S Danielli.

Ref -- Peter Allen (SRU).

Scarlets v Ulster, 7.05, Setanta Ireland

Irish Independent

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