Ulster could possibly name a starting team containing four former Leinster players when Dan McFarland confirms the line-up for Saturday’s Champions Cup quarter-final.

Marty Moore, Jordi Murphy and John Cooney are probable starters if fit, while Ian Nagle, currently on loan from the champions, played in last week’s game against the Southern Kings.

There are a handful of other players with Leinster backgrounds also in the 1999 winners' squad and the route north has become a well-worn path in recent years.

The school and academy systems in the province is simply producing too many good young players to fit into Leinster Rugby. The end result is what we see at Ulster, and to a lesser extent at Connacht and Munster.

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It wasn’t always like that, however.

One of the pioneers was Eric Miller, the former Ireland and Lions back row, who spent a season at Ulster after parting ways with Leicester in 1998.

Speaking in an extended interview on the RTÉ Rugby Podcast, Miller, who won 48 international caps, recalled his time at the province.

"It was a very enjoyable experience," said the Dubliner, who returned to Leinster from 2000 to 2006. 

"I shared a house with James Topping and was made feel very welcome up there within the rugby fraternity.

Miller (l) and Dion O'Cuinneagain in action for Ireland

"Dion O'Cuinneagain, who was Irish captain back in ‘99 for the World Cup, was up there and had experience there and shared a similar experience to what I had. I had a great season.

"Obviously, it was a home from home, but in my head I was on my way home, getting back to Leinster. Matt Williams took over from Mike Ruddock the year after that and obviously I filtered back into Leinster.

"I really enjoyed my experience and I'm not saying I surprisingly felt more welcome than I thought I would but it sort of fitted well. I think that's probably a given now the way players are moving. But back then it wasn't as regular, it was beginning to happen.

Jordi Murphy and John Cooney (r) will be aiming to upset their former employees

"The likes Geordan Murphy had come over to Leicester and other players but it was obviously not as prevalent as it is nowadays.

"They were a good bunch of lads and I'm sure I'm Jordi Murphy and the lads up there now would say the same thing.

"You always have this perception of the North and the South, coming from Dublin going up to Ulster. I'm sure the lads have been pleasantly surprised, if at all surprised, at how they've fitted in and I'm sure it's been a positive experience for them."

Miller, who currently coaches Edenderry, Seapoint and CUS, said that he is looking forward to seeing how the Ireland players from both teams react to a less than inspiring Six Nations, just six months out from the World Cup.

"I’m excited, [as] Jordan Larmour said, to see the players come out of their Six Nations shells and probably play a more expressive type of  game.

"I see that developing in Ulster under Dan McFarland and similarly Leinster can adapt and play any way. They did that very well in the final last year against Racing.

"I’m looking forward to seeing if the players who came off some bad form jump back into the province and get that feel-good factor and use it as a springboard to start playing well again.

"It will be interesting to see how the players bounce back.

"You have got to fancy Leinster and I think the loss to Edinburgh will just make sure they are primed and ready not to give up their crown."

Miller led Edenderry to promotion in his first season with the club