Andy Warwick on crest of a wave with Ulster

Andy Warwick has enjoyed a couple of important milestones with Ulster in the last few weeks.

By Ciaran Donaghy
Friday, 15th April 2022, 7:00 am

The loose head prop won his 150th cap for the province against the Bulls on the recent trip to South Africa.

Warwick has also played 31 times in Europe for Ulster and scored his first try in the Champions Cup last Saturday, diving American Football-style over the top of the Toulouse defence to touch down and help Ulster establish a six-point lead going into tomorrow night’s second leg.

“It’s obviously an unbelievable milestone reaching 150 caps and it’s great to achieve that,” Warwick said.

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Ulster Rugby's Andy Warwick.

“I’ll try and get as many more games for Ulster as I can and I’m enjoying my rugby at the minute, and I hope it keeps on going for a few more years.”

Warwick has scrummed against some of the best tight heads in the world. In his first European campaign with Ulster in the 2014/15 season he came up against Toulon and their 46 times All Blacks-capped prop Carl Hayman.

Warwick admits playing against any prop can be a learning curve.

“You come up against any tighthead they have their own different things, and I’d say I’d be more nervous coming up against someone you haven’t scrummed against before, because you don’t know exactly what they do and you learn from every scrum and off every player you play against,” he said.

“It’s small things, like some people like to crank your arm and it’s what you do to combat that - whether you can get in below their chest - but you learn off every scrum, and obviously those world class players are the most consistent.

“That’s how you aim to be consistent in every scrum and you’re set up with your bind phase into every set.”

Ulster won 100 per cent of ball on their own feed to the scrum last weekend but they couldn’t dent Toulouse as the French side were also prefect at the set piece.

“You want to win your own scrum and you don’t want to be conceding penalties first and foremost on your own ball,” added Warwick.

“I said throughout this year it is working as an eight and that’s the only way we’ll make an impact against a team like Toulouse, as they are such big men.”

Ulster have won twice in France this season beating Clermont in the pool stages and last week’s first leg victory.

“I just think we go into games and we’re focused on what we have to do,” said Warwick.

“There’s a lot of clarity like the leaders whether it be big Al (O’Connor) or Hendy (Iain Henderson), and Duane (Vermeulen) in there, they have you focused on your job and you just know what you have to do, and I think there’s a lot of clarity and calmness.

“Those young fellas coming in and scoring tries like Baloucoune, Mikey Lowry - they’ve been unbelievable this year - and Hume. They add to that and create a lot of excitement they’re making line breaks for everybody else.”

Ulster won’t be sticking on their six-point lead from the first game.

Warwick said: “From my point of view as a player, we’re going out to win the game. If we win we go through, that’s the mindset.”