David Humphreys’ Comments on Heineken Cup Quarter-Final Draw + Brian MgLaughlin Audio Interview 58 Pictures & BBC Sport Review Of Ulster v Northampton QF

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David Humphreys, Ulster’s Director of Rugby, reacts to Ulster’s Heineken Cup quarter-final match up against Northampton:

“Northampton will certainly provide us with a big challenge in the quarter-finals of the competition. They’ve plenty of depth and they’re not the number 1 seed, for nothing. They were absolutely comprehensive in how they worked through the pool stages of the competition, coming up against quality teams in Castres, Cardiff and Edinburgh and maintaining a 100% record with six wins from six.”

“At this stage we’re not sure if the game will be played at Franklin’s Gardens or another bigger venue. They have a very strong and proud home record at the Gardens but their supporters will make any trip for us a challenging prospect.”

“That said, just because we’ve reached the knockout stages of the competition for the first time in a very long time doesn’t mean that we’re happy to settle for that. We’ll go into the game as the underdog, but that suits us just fine. There’s a self belief within our squad at the moment, we’ve recorded wins on the road in all competitions this season where perhaps people wouldn’t have expected us to and we’ll relish the opportunity ahead of us.”

“Right now we’re enjoying our victory yesterday and the fact that for the first time in 12 years we’re going to be playing knockout rugby in Europe. However, there’s a lot of rugby to be played between now and the quarter-finals in April. The players will have a week off now and when we re-group we’ll turn our attentions back to the Magners League. Traditionally we’ve struggled during the Six Nations period and haven’t responded well without our international players. We have two very tough away matches against Ospreys and Scarlets on the horizon and if we’re to achieve our aim of a top four finish in the League, that’s where our attention is going to be focused.”

Click Here for BBC sport view on Ulster facing Northampton in the Heineken Cup Quarter Finals

Click Here for BBC sport Brian McLaughlin audio on qualification

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