As pre-season matches draw to a close around Europe with attention firmly fixed on the new league campaigns, here’s a round up of how a selection of former Ulster players and Ulster natives got on in the off season with their respective clubs.
Chris Farrell, Sam Arnold
Both Chris Farrell and Sam Arnold sat out Munster’s first pre-season win over London Irish due to injuries and neither will feature on Friday against Exeter.
Rory Scholes scored a try for Connacht off the bench in their 43-10 victory over Wasps last Saturday. Connacht’s attentions now turn to the visit of Glasgow in the opening round of PRO14 fixtures.
Former Ulster player and Down High pupil, Tommy Seymour failed to make an appearance in Glasgow’s thumping 50-17 win over Harlequins on Saturday. He is likely to play in their final friendly match against Northampton this weekend.
Gareth Steenson, Ian Whitten
Steenson and Whitten both featured against Cardiff Blues, Exeter Chief’s second pre-season friendly on Saturday. Whitten scored his side’s final try in the 38-10 win and featured at 13. Steenson kicked four conversions and one penalty.
Exeter take on Munster in their last pre-season friendly on Friday 24th August.
Paddy McAllister, David Humphreys, Jonny Bell
Paddy McAllister did not feature in Gloucester’s 29-17 victory over Ulster on Saturday evening. They play their final pre-season fixture at home to the Dragons on Thursday
Mark McCall’s Saracens made a winning start to pre-season with a 57-15 victory away to Bedford Blues on Saturday. They begin their Gallagher Premiership campaign on 2nd September away to Newcastle Falcons.
Callum Black, Michael Heaney, Neil Doak
Callum Black appearaed at half time in Worcester’s hard fought 14-12 win over Benetton Rugby in Treviso in their opening pre-season fixture.
Against Hartpury College, Black played the first half while Michael Heaney came on at scrum half in the second half to score a try in their 52-24 victory.
Worcester take on Birmingham Moseley at Sixways on Thursday in their final pre-season fixture.
Greene King IPA Championship
Callum Patterson left the province at the end of the season for the Cornish Pirates whom he helped Ulster defeat in the British and Irish Cup last season.
Patterson played 12 in the Pirates’ first pre-season match away to Aberavon Wizards which the visitors won 44-7. Then, against Exeter Chiefs, he put in a man of the match performance which included a try, to guide the Cornish side to a 29-21 win over the 2016-17 Premiership winners.
Cornish Pirates will play Plymouth Albion in one last pre-season friendly on Saturday 25th August.
Brett Herron, Conor Joyce, Mark Best
Out-half, Herron featured in all three of Jersey Red’s pre-season matches against Vannes, Harlequins and Old Elthamians. Against Vannes he supplied a lovely chip in behind the defence for the opening try, kicked two penalties and two conversions and was awarded man of the match. Mark Best also featured in this match.
Against Harlequins, a Herron cross kick led to Jersey Reds’ second try and kicked to conversions as Jersey lost 33-14. Conor Joyce started this match on the bench.
In final pre-season victory over Old Elthamians, Mark Best supplied a try from 12, while Herron came off the bench to kick a conversion. Conor Joyce captained the side from openside flanker and was shown a yellow card on 63 minutes.
Jersey Reds begin their league campaign on 1st September away to Coventry.
Jackson started both of USA Perpignan’s pre-season matches against Toulouse and Racing 92, playing a half of rugby in each match.
Against local rivals, Toulouse he kicked three conversions as USAP won 21-19. Against the Champions Cup runners up, he converted two tries and kicked one penalty guiding USAP to a 27-26 victory.
Jackson will be hoping to be in the mix for USAP’s first league match of the season next Saturday against Stade Francais.
Stuart Olding, Jeremy Davidson
Under the stewardship of Davidson at Brive, Olding started Brive’s first pre-season fixture against Connacht, losing by 33-24 in France. Olding started at 12, but Davidson has admitted to trying him at out half.
Brive kicked off their PRO D2 season on Saturday and Olding made a try-scoring competitive debut in the 30-17 defeat. Davidson’s men will host 1999 European Cup runners up, Colomiers on Friday.
Moving to Vannes in north-west France at the end of last season from Stade Francais, Dan Tuohy featured in one of his side’s two pre-season matches against USBPA Bourg winning 22-15.
He featured in the second row in Vannes’ opening match of the campaign – a 19-19 draw against USBPA Bourg – and was shown a yellow card towards the end of the match.
Vannes travel to Oyonnax on Friday night for their second match.