Andrew Trimble has warned Leinster they will face an Ulster side "motivated by jealousy" in Saturday's first all-Irish Heineken Cup final at Twickenham.
Ulster were the first Irish side to win Europe's premier club competition when they beat Colomiers in the 1999 final.
However, Leinster and Munster have both won two titles since then with Ulster largely struggling in the competition.
"We were getting fed up of being seen as the third-choice [Irish] province," said Ireland winger Trimble.
"Playing Leinster adds intensity and passion and we want to come out on top and we also want to deny Leinster that trophy.
"Going into this final we are motivated by jealousy. We want to leapfrog them and become the number one province."
Saturday's finalists have been perennial European hopefuls over the course of the last decade, a time during which Ulster have often struggled to keep up.
But under the guidance of coach Brian McLaughlin, and with a squad mixing the experienced South Africa contingent of Ruan Pienaar, Pedrie Wannenburg and Johann Muller with homegrown stars such as Trimble, Ulster are back at the European game's top table.
Victory would stop 2011 winners Leinster becoming the first Irish side to retain the trophy and land the Ulster coach European club rugby's biggest prize in his final game in charge.
"This game means a massive amount for Ulster rugby and for Irish rugby, there is such a rivalry between the provinces," added Trimble.
"We have become genuine contenders for the trophy and Saturday is an opportunity we don't want to let slip."
Trimble, then 14 years of age, was among the crowd in Dublin when Ulster last won the trophy, with full-back Simon Mason booting six penalties in their 21-6 win.
The 27-year-old hopes to see similar scenes of celebration come Saturday evening.
He said: "I don't remember all that much about it although I don't think we played much rugby, but it was one of those days when we squeezed out a result.
"I just remember that Lansdowne Road was white and it was a very special day.
"We have finally been given an opportunity back at that level but we don't want to let it pass us by because you don't know when your next Heineken Cup final will be."