RUGBY: Rob Herring wants Ulster to put on a show against Barbarians at Kingspan Stadium

Ulster's Rob Herring
Ulster's Rob Herring

Ulster co-captain Rob Herring is hoping for a more memorable experience against the Barbarians at Kingspan Stadium on Thursday night than the last one he had facing the famous invitational side.

The hooker came on as a second half replacement for Ireland against the Baa baas at Thomond Park in 2014 in a game Ireland lost 22-21 and was soon off again.

From a switch pass by scrum half Eoin Reddan Herring ran into 111 times capped Australian backrow George Smith.

“I don’t remember much of it I remember talking to George Smith after it and he was really apologetic, I think it was a straight shoulder to the head,” said Herring.

“We’re taking this game seriously and we want to win it but at the same time we’re all going to be in the BaaBaas spirit and throw it around a bit and play a bit of an expansive game.

“It is going to be a nice night and hopefully we can put on a show for the young fans.”

Having failed to make the PRO12 playoffs Ulster’s last game was a month ago.

“It’s a bit strange to be honest - we finished up earlier than we normally would in the last few years.

“This isn’t a full competitive game, we have a few experienced guys with the Lions and a few with Ireland and a few boys taking their holidays early so it is a good chance get some of the younger guys coming up a bit of exposure.

“It’s a pretty mixed squad a few older guys and a few younger guys and it is a good opportunity to put a few things in place for next season and give some guys a bit of experience.

“The last few weeks have been like pre-season for us, we have been training pretty hard and getting distance under the legs and we have put a few things in for next season so it has given us the chance to come in a step ahead and then we can kick on properly in pre season.”

The skipper is hoping the younger members of the squad can grasp their chance.

“Jacob Stockdale and Rob Lyttle are great examples and even someone like Kieran Treadwell it shows the young guys that are playing if they do well they will get their shots in the senior side and when you get them you have to take them.

“There will be a couple of guys that haven’t played much rugby for us this year and I’m excited to see how they go.”

Those not on representative duty over the summer will report back to the Kingspan of July 3 and Herring is already looking forward to next season.

“We know Doaky and Clarkey very well and especially the younger guys they had big impacts on our careers over the last few years.

“It’s sad to see them go but at the same time it brings a bit of excitement, a bit of change, new people in with new ideas and it’s exciting for the players new people coming in not having preconceptions of you.

“You basically have to do your best or other players will get the chance.”