Discipline key for Ulster in new season - Maurice Field

Les Kiss will assume the role of Ulster Head Coach after the World Cup
Les Kiss will assume the role of Ulster Head Coach after the World Cup

Former Ulster centre Maurice Field says the Irish province must improve their discipline to enhance their chances of success in the Pro12 this season.

"Ulster have gone from being the most disciplined side in the competition to being the most indisciplined," said the BBC Sport NI analyst.

"They gave too many penalties in crucial areas and kickable positions last season and that cost us."

"Les Kiss is a technical coach and he will demand discipline."

Kiss will assume the position of Head Coach at Kingspan Stadium in November. after assisting Joe Schmidt in the Ireland set-up at the Rugby World Cup.

In the meantime, Neil Doak will remain in charge as Ulster look to make a good start to their Pro12 campaign despite the absence of their international players.

Mixture of youth and experience

"There will be a huge reliance on the fringe and Academy players in the opening months of the season, but there is a strong core of experienced players like Robbie Diack and Franco van der Merwe among the forwards and Paul Marshall, Luke Marshall and Louis Ludik in the back division.

"They can help challenge the younger lads to make up a formidable team.

"Les will bring a steely determination and knows what is required to succeed. The addition of Joe Barakat as defence coach is also a good move as he is well respected and will help identify young talent coming through."

Field believes the management of playing resources and the impact of Ireland's performance in the World Cup will be crucial factors as Ulster aim for their perennial targets of qualification from the pool stages in Europe and a home semi-final in the Pro12 play-offs.

"The availability of players post-World Cup will be important, as will the euphoria if Ireland do well and that slightly shell-shocked feeling if they underperform.

"You could see some of the so-called lesser teams get an advantage in the Pro12 table early in the season, with the big guns probably clawing that back later in the campaign."

Top Stories