STEPHEN Ferris’ first Ulster start of the new season will be a memorable one as he takes centre stage at Ravenhill on Friday in making his 100th competitive appearance for the club.
There is no bigger occasion for Ferris to hit the century mark than in an Irish RaboDirect PRO12 derby against arch rivals Munster in front of a near sell-out crowd.
The Irish international and British Lions blindside backrow was elevated to the starting XV for tonight’s game having made an impact off the bench last week in the away win over Ospreys.
Ferris was one of seven changes made from that victory by head coach, Mark Anscombe ahead of the game as he looks to continue Ulster’s perfect start to the season with two from two in the league campaign already - the same stats shared by Munster.
While it is a big occasion for Ferris, the talismanic Ulsterman said his focus was all about playing his part in keeping Ulster on the winning track.
“It is great to have reached 100 caps. I still remember my first appearance with the club back in 2005 as if it was yesterday.
“When you are starting out you hope to go on and have a long and successful career. To win 100 caps is very special indeed.
“I have had some great memories in the Ulster shirt - but I want to have many more.
“I want to kick on and get 150, maybe 200 caps for Ulster.”
But Ferris added: “It is not about individuals and the game against Munster is important in our progress.
“I have to make sure I bring my best to the table so that the team get the right result, which is a win. A victory over Munster on Friday would cap the occasion for me.”