Herringinspired byCape Townmemories

Rob Herring left his native Cape Town 10 yeas ago to join Ulster.

The hooker had a brief spell with London Irish in 2010 before returning to South Africa to play at Western Province.

Irish qualified through his grandfather, Ulster were alerted to Herring’s availability and he arrived at Kingspan Stadium at the start of the 2012/13 season.

Herring has made over 200 appearances for Ulster and earned 26 Ireland caps. He was part of Andy Farrell’s squad that won the Triple Crown last weekend.

Ulsters' Rob Herring celebrates scoring his sides first try with team-mates during the Heineken Champions Cup, Pool A match at the Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. Picture date: Saturday January 22, 2022.

Tomorrow Herring will line up against the team he supported as a boy in the city where he grew up.

“It’s great to be home and it’s been a while since I’ve been back here,” he said.

“It’s not something I ever thought I’d get a chance to do with Ulster, is come and play in my hometown against the Stormers and a few of them (family) were down to watch training.

“It’s great to be back and there’s a great buzz around the squad, and the guys have been enjoying the heat. We had a nice recovery day at the beach on Monday and training was certainly a lot tougher in the heat but there is a lot of excitement and a good buzz to be here.

“My school was just up the road from Newlands and I had season tickets... where there was a terrace where you sat and watched and I went to a lot of games when I was in school.”

Herring has no regrets about leaving South Africa to pursue his career in the northern hemisphere.

“I think it’s been a great journey since I left and I’ve enjoyed it every step of the way, and myself, my wife and daughter are settled in Belfast now,” said Herring.

“And Ulster are obviously a team I take great pride in representing.”

Herring is expecting a difficult afternoon against the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship.

“The Stormers have a big physical pack all around and it’s a big part of their game, so it’s something we’ll have a closer look at and prep for it accordingly,” he said. “It will be a big challenge and we’ve faced big packs before, but it’s an exciting challenge.”

“It’s an incredible challenge and we were talking about no-one from the URC has won in South Africa (before this weekend) and that just tells you right there how good the South African teams are at home and particularly how well they are playing at the moment.”

“They have had a good run of games and I think the normal things like the physicality and that’s a big one and the Stormers have a really good attack and they can score tries from anywhere.”