COMMENT: Ulster’s Darren Cave is centre of attention but hopefully there is a bigger send off ahead

Ulster centre Darren Cave
Ulster centre Darren Cave

Darren Cave will lead Ulster out as captain for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 Conference B game at Kingspan Stadium against Leinster.

It hopefully will not be his last appearance in an Ulster jersey this season - there is the matter of next week’s play-off against Connacht back in Belfast and then the potential of two more games after that as the PRO14 Final series continues.

For now though, Cave rightly takes centre stage at the home of Ulster Rugby.

The 32-year-old one-club man made his debut in the famous white jersey 13 years ago and this evening he will make his 227th appearance.

While Ireland’s oldest derby fixture does not have any bearing on standings in the PRO14, it is far from a meaningless game, particularly for Cave and indeed the other 45 players contesting it.

Leinster have set the bar for European rugby in recent years and having lost to them in a European Champions Cup quarter-final earlier this month and at the RDS in the league, Ulster would like to record a home success over the ‘old enemy’.

Cave started in the European game and was disappointed not to sign off on a high.

Leading the side to a win would be a little consolation for him, but if Carlsberg did rugby, the end game for both Cave and Rory Best (in an Ulster jersey) would be the latter receiving the PRO14 Championship Trophy at Celtic Park, Glasgow on May 25.

Don’t rule it out.