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Settled Ulster newcomers pleases head coach Doak

Guinness PRO12 Editor

5 Aug 2016

Neil Doak

Ulster head coach Neil Doak believes the seamless transition of their new additions will help them get the new Guinness PRO12 season off to a much-needed flier.

The province have brought six new signings to the Kingspan Stadium, the most exciting of which saw All Black Charles Piutau sign from Wasps.

With Rodney Ah You, Kieran Treadwell, Brett Herron and Angus Lloyd also joining alongside the injured Marcell Coetzee, out until the winter, plans are in place for Ulster to improve on their Guinness PRO12 semi-final performance from last season.

And with his squad firmly bolstered, Doak has been more than happy with what the new signings have shown him so far.

“The new guys have been superb,” he said.

“I think the skill sets and experience that they have brought so far will complement the team greatly.

“It’s a pretty daunting time for them, learning the terminology and how things are done, but they’ve settled in well and I’ve no doubt they’ll be great additions to the squad.”

Doak’s side have just returned from a week-long training camp in Portugal, boosted by the news of all their highly sought-after names staying with the region.

In fact only Rory Best, Andrew Trimble – returning from Ireland international duty – and the injured Chris Henry, were absent from the trip to Vilamoura, in the Algarve, with the camp giving Ulster some much-needed preparation time.

“It (pre-season) is going really well,” said Doak. “We’ve adjusted a few plays and added in a few other nuances, so the camp allows us to have a concentrated period where we can get everybody up to speed.

“There are no distractions. These five days are invaluable as we can get two or three weeks’ work done, and hopefully that will be seen in the pre-season games that we’ve got coming up.”