The mathematics may have changed following Zebre’s surprise win over Ospreys on Thursday night in the RaboDirect PRO, but as far as Ulster are concerned nothing has changed ahead of Friday’s crucial clash against Irish rivals Leinster at Ravenhill (7.30pm).
Prior to Thursday night’s 30-27 win for Italian side Zebre over Ospreys, Ulster needed five points to guarantee themselves a place in the play-offs.
But fifth placed Ospreys are now four points behind Mark Anscombe’s side, leaving Ulster needing just a point to be certain of the play-offs.
However, while that does ease the pressure slightly on Ulster, Ireland backrow, Chris Henry said there was a massive desire and hunger in the side to deliver a win on what is a signficant evening in many respects.
Ulster will officialy open their newly developed Ravenhill Stadium in front of another sell-out record crowd.
And it will also be an emotional evening for Ulster captain, Johann Muller and long serving prop, Tom Court.
They will both be starting in their last games at Ravenhill .
South African lock Muller will retire at the end of the current season while Court will leave Ulster to join London Irish after eight years with the Irish Province.
Henry said: “It is all about the game and what we have to do to ensure we get into the play-offs.
“We have another full house and it is going to be a wonderful atmosphere.We want to give the fans and ourselves a win on what will be an historic night with the official opening of the stadium.
“And we want to make sure we give the Johann and Tom a winning send off in their last home game. They have given so much to the club.
“Time is running out for everybody to have something tangible to show for all the efforts that have been put in.”
Jared Payne and Roger Wilson both return to the starting XV following suspension and injury respectively, while Brian O’Driscoll is named in the Leinster team.