BRITISH & IRISH CUP: Sam Windsor hopes it’s a case of third time lucky with Ulster ‘A’

Ulster's Sam Windsor in action with Bristol.
Ulster's Sam Windsor in action with Bristol.

Ulster out half Sam Windsor is hoping it will be third time lucky in the British and Irish Cup.

The Australian has been on the books of the winning club for the last two season but has yet to get a winner’s medal.

“At Leinster I was here a week or two late so I missed the last pool game and you had to play in the pool games to qualify for the quarter finals and they went on to win it,” explained Windsor.

“Last year at Worcester I got injured early then they went on to win the B & I Cup so hopefully there is no trend for me apart from the team I’m involved with go on and win it.”

Ulster ‘A’ got a bonus point at the Scarlets Premier Select last week and are hoping for another five pointers when the teams meet again at Eaton Park, Ballymena today (2.30pm) .

“Alex Codling give us the job of coming away with five points and on paper we did that, looking more closely at the game we realised we didn’t fire a shot at them before we stepped up and put in a massive shift, this week we get another chance to step up to the plate and again get five points.

“They are a classy outfit and we went there respecting them a lot, going to anyone’s home ground you can’t take too much away from them and you can’t expect too much either because you will come undone.

“The squad we put out with the young guys we were really happy with the performance and the attitude and I guess our energy in the second half was what got us the four tries.

“Alex isn’t leaving us in too much of a dark place as to want he wants from the game the win comes first but we’ll put a bit of pressure on ourselves to get the four tries we know we can score four tri“The win is priority number one and if we get five points it puts back on track to topping the pool, if we come up against Bristol in that last game with three wins on the bounce it will make for an entertaining finish to the pool stages.”

The game at Eaton Park will be the first time the A team have played a competitive match out Belfast.

“Ballymena are pulling out all the stops and it is going to be a great day, I’m looking forward to playing there and there is a good mix of Ballymena boys in the A team and they are chomping at the bit to get out and play in front of their home town, as much as we like to play at the Kingspan it’s good to get out to the clubs and show our support to them and their support for us as well.”“I haven’t played there before, I went to watch Ballymena a few weeks ago when the weather was warmer it looks a nice deck and they have a good set up but it really doesn’t matter where the pitch is that we are playing on as long as we turn up and get the job done.”

Windsor feels success with the A team could propel him back into the senior team.

“This run of games leading into and after Christmas gives you that consistency of quality game time, for me personally it is a matter of stringing games together and playing consistently and winning and hopefully the coaches can see and recognise that, there is a Six Nations window coming up early next year and fingers crossed Paddy gets the nod for Ireland and that might open a slight door for me in the senior team again.”

“I’ll do all I can for my own game but also for the team and if we get the win on the paddock the rest will take care of itself.”

“Les has taken a very keen interest in the A set up he has made sure that it is known that it is just not the A team and they play their thing and the senior team play their thing, in comparison to previous years there is a lot more cohesion between the two teams and that is really encouraging for myself and the other boys pushing on getting senior time.”

Paul Rowley partners Windsor at half back, Robert Lyttle, moves to full back, Mark Best and Callum Patterson retain their places in midfield while Conor Young and Adam Liddell starts on the wing.

It’s all change in the second row with Peter Browne and John Donnan replacing Lewis Stevenson and Matty Rea, Connor Joyce starts at blindside flanker and Stephen Mulholland moves to No8.

Nick Timoney, Lorcan Dow and Josh Pentland came onto the bench.

ULSTER ‘A’: R Lyttle; C Young, C Patterson, M Best, A Liddell; S Windsor, P Rowley; C Black, J Andrew, J Simpson, J Donnan, P Browne, C Joyce, W Faloon (capt), S Mulholland;

Replacements: J Murphy, R Murphy, R Kane, N Timoney, L Dow, J Pentland, A Magrath.