Ulster forwards coach Roddy Grant feels the fact that his side were still in competitive action until relatively recently will allow them to hit the ground running more quickly than some of their rivals.

The province begin their Guinness Pro14 season at home to Benetton Treviso on Friday which will be just less than three weeks on from their defeat to Leinster in the final of the same competition last season.

It will also be just 12 days on from their Heineken Champions Cup exit at the hands of Toulouse in France.

"Certainly, I feel it's great. We've had games, our bodies are hardened," he told RTÉ Sport's Michael Corcoran.

"It allows you to try and get into a routine and a rhythm of how you want to play and rugby these days, there isn't a whole lot of breaks anyway, so I think rhythm's really important.

"From my side of it, it's a positive. We've a weekend off with no game there and then get into it and hopefully we can make that rhythm count, that we have had games where Treviso haven't. But it's a tough game either way.

"They've got a great squad as everyone knows and are stacked with internationals and got some excellent foreign guys. Either way, it's always a hard game when you get Treviso."