Friday 24 January 2020

Stockdale switches to full-back mission and insists he's not fazed by try drought

Jacob Stockdale. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Jacob Stockdale. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Jonathan Bradley

Ulster star Jacob Stockdale isn't worried about his recent lack of tries, insisting there are more ways for him to help the team win.

After an incredible run to begin his career, the 23-year-old has crossed the whitewash just twice in his last 15 outings for club and country with his last score for Ulster coming against Racing 92 some 11 months ago.

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As his match-saving interception against Bath last month showed, it's not all about getting his name on the scoresheet.

"It is definitely something that I'm learning, that I don't have to be scoring tries to be having an impact on the game," he said.

"Obviously it's nice to score tries and it's good fun, but being good in the air or being good defensively or doing the behind-the-scenes work, those are the kind of things that can make a massive difference."

"I don't think that won us the game or anything, I thought as a team we played quite well in that Bath game, but that was just a nice way to finish it off," he said.

Stockdale has been switched from his usual wing spot to full-back for today's visit of Harlequins to Kingspan Stadium with the province looking to secure a third consecutive Champions Cup victory. Iain Henderson, Billy Burns, Luke Marshall and Jordi Murphy are all also back in the side.

ULSTER - J Stockdale; L Ludik, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy; B Burns, J Cooney; E O'Sullivan, R Herring, M Moore; A O'Connor, I Henderson (c); S Reidy, J Murphy, M Coetzee. Reps: A  McBurney, A Warwick, T O'Toole, K Treadwell, M Rea, D Shanahan, B Johnston, M Faddes

HARLEQUINS - R Chisholm; T Ismaiel, M Campagnaro, J Lang, G Ibitoye; M Smith, D Care; J Marler, E Elia, K Sinckler; S Lewies, T Cavubati; S Kunatani, C Robshaw (c), A  Dombrandt. Reps: J Musk, N Auterac, S Kerrod, D Lamb, T Lawday, M Landajo, F Saili, V Goneva,

REF - M Adamson (Scotland)

Ulster v Harlequins, Live, BT Sport 2, 3.15

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