Willie Faloon to boost Heineken Cup hopes in Connacht

Ulster flanker Willie Faloon
Ulster flanker Willie Faloon

Willie Faloon believes there are still places up for grabs in the Ulster squad for the Heineken Cup semi-final.

The Ulster flanker hopes a good display in Saturday's league game against Connacht will push his claims to be involved against Edinburgh on April 28.

"Everyone who turns out this weekend will be putting their hand up.

"Heineken Cup semi-finals don't come around very often and all the guys are very excited about it," said Faloon.

Faloon has two reasons for wanting to impress at the Sportsground in Galway.

The 25-year-old will join Connacht at the end of the season after agreeing a two-year deal.

While he is keen to impress his future employers, he wants to finish his Ulster career on a high.

"It'll be very interesting.

"I want to play a part against Connacht and put my hand up for being involved in the semi-final, but I'm also going there next year so I want to impress for that reason as well."

He is confident the Ulster squad is strong enough to challenge for twin honours, both in Europe and the league.

"That is what we're playing for," he said.

"We are not saying we're going to focus on the Heineken or on the league - we are trying to fight on two fronts."

Unusually, coach Brian McLaughlin did not bring any replacements from the bench during Sunday's quarter-final triumph over Munster in Thomond Park.

Faloon was a frustrated spectator, but says many of those players still hope to be involved in the Heineken Cup clash in the Aviva Stadium.

"You'd love to get on to play your part but even sitting on the bench you were excited," he stated.

"It was a great result in the end. There will be a big change in terms of the personnel that plays this weekend but we want to keep the winning momentum going.

"It's up to every person coming to make sure there is no real difference in the level of performance. Everyone is very focused and I have no doubt that the guys coming in will do that job."