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Ulster new boy Payne sold on Humphreys vision

Guinness PRO12 Editor

13 Sep 2011

Ulster new boy Jared Payne insists it was David Humphreys’ vision for the club that persuaded him to swap New Zealand for Ravenhill.

The 25-year-old is in line to make his RaboDirect PRO12 debut against the Cardiff Blues on Friday night having been included in Brian McLaughlin’s preliminary 29-man squad.

Where he lines up will be another matter as Payne is equally comfortable at full-back, centre or on the wing.

And it is Ulster’s commitment to running rugby that Payne says was the key part of Humphreys’ pitch.

He said: “I decided to come to Ulster because I liked what David said about the club. I met him in South Africa and he really sold it to me.

“I did my own research myself and spoke to people in New Zealand about what’s it like and watched a bit on the TV. All those things added up and it seemed like a good move.

“I hear a lot about the Northern Hemisphere teams and how they don’t like to use the ball and how they like to kick a lot.

"But from what I saw of Ulster from the tapes David sent me, they look to shift the ball a lot and try to play a quicker game of rugby. That’s part of the reason I came because I enjoy playing with the ball so I felt like it was a good fit coming here.

“I just want to make the starting team for Ulster. They have got line-up and bunch of guys here so that’s going to be a big enough challenge.

“For me to get my body right and try and get into the starting XV will be the goal.”