Flanker Sean Reidy is hoping Ulster can pick up where they left off last season when the new Pro14 campaign starts on Saturday evening against the Scarlets at Kingspan Stadium.
Ulster won four and drew one of their last five games last season but face a tough start against the 2017 champions.
“I suppose it’s a fresh start for us we’ve got high ambitions to play some good rugby this season and I think we left the end of last season on a high so yeah it’s quite exciting,” said Reidy.
“The boys are really excited about this week, it’s a good opportunity to get this campaign off to a winning start.
“Scarlets lost last week (to Bath) but they are a classy outfit so it’s going to take a strong performance from us to beat them.”
Jordi Murphy was one of Ulster’s summer marquee signing but the return to fitness of South African Marcell Coetzee will also be like a new addition and Reidy is looking forward to playing with the 28 time capped Springbok.
“He’s been out 10 months now and he had a previous injury, he’s raring to go but I know he just wants to fit into the team first and not just go out and make that huge play, I’m excited to see him get out there and get involved.
“Marcell’s a big specimen, it’s good having him back, he’s been out a while so he’s like a bit of a caged bull at the moment.”
“He’s raring to go so it’ll be good to unleash him this weekend, Jordi’s in the mix as well so it’s good to add that bit of depth.
“In the past we might have been guilty of being down to our bare bones in the back row throughout the season so it’s good to have that depth there but it’s good to have the young guys pushing through too.”
Saturday’s game with be the time Dan McFarland takes charge of Ulster for a competitive game and Reidy has been impressed with the former assistant coach in the short time he has worked with him.
“He’s brought a different dynamic and he really knows his stuff,” said Reidy.