Having played over 150 times for Ulster sandwiched in between a four year stint in the English Premiership with Northampton Saints, capped by Ireland and an appearance for the Barbarians, Roger Wilson has seen and done it all so the coming and going at Ulster Rugby during the summer didn’t come as a huge surprise to the No8.
“There was quite a lot of change but it happens in all sports and it will happen to every player at some stage in their career that there will be wholesale changes whether in the management or the playing squad, said Wilson.
“It’s not much of a shock, when Mark and Hump left it was a shock to me I’d no idea it was coming but when you look back it’s sport and most contracts are done over two to three years, from a playing point of view you just have to get on with it hasn’t been disruptive.”
Wilson is looking forward to getting back on the pitch against Exeter on Friday night and let the rugby do the talking.
He said; “You just want to play you don’t want any involvement in this sort of thing and it is the players that will be asked the questions and you’d rather let the people up above answer the questions, I’m not too fussed on the changes that have been made I just want to get out and start another season and get paid for what we are paid to do.”
Wilson has been impressive by Les Kiss’ training methods.
“I worked with him once or twice in the past, he is very full on, he is similar to Joe Schmidt and they feed off each other and they never shut off from rugby, their attention to detail is very good,” he added.
“The other thing Les has been working hard on is fitness and thinking about plays, patterns and calls when you exhausted which come Friday night is a key thing to do.”
Allen Clarke was confirmed as forwards coach earlier this week and Wilson feels it’s a good appointment.
“He has worked hard with the academy of the last few years and doing a good job, he is always a go to guy, technically he is a good coach.”
Wilson feels the new faces brought into the squad over the Summer have all settled in well at Ulster.
“All the new lads that have come in have a good work ethic,” he said.
“It’s the first time that some of them will have been involved in a set up like this so it is up to the senior players to make it as smooth for them as possible, there is a lot of new information on top of the daily slog of pre season and they have coped with it very well and no doubt they will get their chance over the next few weeks.”
With a young experimental side taking the field against the English Premiership side Wilson will don the skipper’s armband.
“It’s an inexperienced squad this week with a lot of new faces and a lot of new combinations so it will be by no means pretty but it never is this time of the year it’s all about getting game minutes under your belt and the week after will build a bit more,” he added.
“The boys are looking forward to getting a hit out because they are a bit sick of pre season at this stage.”
Wilson believes there no point in setting targets for the season back expects to make the knockout both domestically and in Europe.
“The players set themselves very high standards, I think we don’t tend to do too much goal setting anymore, we’re at a stage now were we’re capable of winning every game we play and if we don’t we’re disappointed,” he said.
a youngish element to the squad this year which is great for the hunger and appetite of things.”