David Humphreys Quotes & Audio On Ulster Rugby Pre-Season & Camp

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David Humphreys Quotes & Audio on Pre-Season and Camp


On Monday morning, the Ulster Squad depart for a five-day long camp in the South of France.

Based in the town of Capbreton, the week will play out much the same as when at Newforge, although the change of scenery is a important part of the pre-season schedule

“When you train somewhere all summer you need a change of surroundings” explains Director of Rugby David Humphreys, “We’re nearing the end of what has been a very long, tough period for the players and camp is a chance to get away for a few days and come back refreshed for the start of the season”

The players will train Monday and Tuesday ahead of a friendly match against Bayonne on Wednesday, the first in a three match programme of friendlies which also includes games against Neath and Harlequins.

Founded in 1904, Bayonne play at the Parc des Sports also known as the Stade Jean Dauger in the town and finished 7th in last season’s Top 14. They’ll provide some formidable opposition for Ulster but at this very early stage in the season, Humphreys is not too concerned with the result

“To be honest, the game, in terms of a result, is not hugely significant for us – the purpose of the match was to get a camp and to give some players, game time, who wouldn’t ordinarily get it” explains Humphreys

“I do think Bayonne will be quite strong as their league season starts the following week but for us the camp is about preparation. This match is the first of three friendlies and every one is a step towards competitive rugby. We’ll do things a little differently in each game so that by the time we come to play Glasgow in the first round of the Pro12 everybody has clicked back into what is a match week and the season is off and running again.”

The majority of the Ulster players have been in pre-season since the 20th June and they include the Phoenix Academy Players who have worked with the rest of the senior squad on improving their skills and physicality

“Witha lot of our senior players have been away we’ve brought in our Phoenix Academy players who’ve worked very hard this summer, and camp is an opportunity for many of them to get a first taste of playing without the leaders around them. “ said Humphreys

“Last season the Academy players went through pre-season with us and some went on to make an impact and we feel that giving them the exposure at an earlier stage has been a way of fast-tracking them into the squad”

“Camp will give us an indication of which players are ready to step up into the Pro12 and it’s also a chance for the players to put into practice what we’ve been working on over the course of pre-season and for us to see if it’s working or if there’s still some fine-tuning to do before we get into our competitive fixtures.”

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