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Ulster have every chance of landing Heineken Cup glory, claims former coach

Updated: Tuesday, 01 May 2012 14:19

McCall feels the defeat of Munster in the quarter-final was a defining moment in Ulster's development
McCall feels the defeat of Munster in the quarter-final was a defining moment in Ulster's development

Former Ulster Coach Mark McCall has said that he feels Ulster have a 50/50 chance of overcoming Leinster in the Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham on 19 May.

McCall left Ulster in 2007 and took up a coaching position for French Top 14 side Castres before joining Saracens in 2009. 

“I think it’s a remarkable achievement to have turned around the situation that Ulster were in three years ago to a European Cup final and to assembled the squad that they have. 

"I think David Humphreys deserves a great amount of credit for the recruitment job he’s done.

"Not only has be managed to bring world class players to Belfast to supplement the local talent but they’re also very influential and good people who have helped to create a very good culture at the province."

“For me the final is a 50/50 game. When Ulster have their best team on the pitch and when they bring their best game, which they are more than capable of doing, then they have every chance."

"Leinster are a great side and they’ve had a phenomenal season. Their win/loss record is incredible but Ulster’s set-piece is a real strength at the moment. I thought Declan Fitzpatrick did brilliantly on the weekend and assuming that John Afoa comes back in they really do have a scrum to be reckoned with which is very important at that level of rugby."

"Ulster's lineout is a real trump card and they could put Leinster under some pressure there in the final – they’ve just got players that are on form and for me it’s a 50/50 game."

McCall who captained the Ulster team in the 1998/99 season missed the final against Colomiers due to injury and while he still looks back fondly on the campaign, he feels that Ulster have really entered a new chapter;

"1999 was a long time ago now. It was important and will always be special for those of us who were involved in it, but for me, the quarter-final game against Munster was a real defining moment for Ulster in terms of their record in the Heineken Cup competition.

"Defeating Munster down there in such an important game is almost like a changing of the guard in some respects."