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Ulster players not distracted over McFarland uncertainty – Moore

Marty Moore (left)

New Ulster signing Marty Moore says that the uncertainty about the arrival of new head coach Dan McFarland is not a distraction for the players.

The Ireland prop joined the province from Wasps and has been hugely impressed with the club’s training facilities and coaching set-up.

It is not yet known when Scotland forwards coach McFarland will take up his role with Ulster.

“Coming in, I was concerned that it might be [a distraction],” Moore said.

“But things have gone so well that it really hasn’t been – you just have to get on with it.”

‘We are in a good place’

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby is in an interim coaching role with Ulster until the arrival of McFarland, who will be assisted by New Zealander Dan Soper, with former player Jared Payne now defence coach.

“The guys that are there are doing a great job,” continued Moore, who is hoping his move to Ulster will help progress his Irish international career.

“Obviously Simon is in an interim role and it is a great boost to have him come down from national level.

“It hasn’t been the case that we are looking for direction or that something is missing, there is none of that at all.

“Hopefully Dan is over as soon as possible and I know the club are working on that.

“He is eager to get going and the sooner the better, but we are in a good place and everyone is happy with the progress we are making.”

Young players have created a ‘buzz’

With a number of senior Ulster players no longer at the club, the province’s squad has a youthful look as the new season approaches – with their opening Pro14 match at home to the Scarlets on 1 September.

“There is definitely a real buzz about the place as it is a young squad,” Moore said.

“I’m 27 and I feel like one of the old guys knocking around the changing room at times, but it’s pretty exciting to start the season with all these young players.

“There is a little bit of the unknown to it but I’ve seen what they can do against us on the training field and, if they can do it there, they can transfer that to matches on a Friday and Saturday.”

Pre-season friendlies

Ulster have two pre-season friendlies before their Pro14 opener, with Gloucester coming to Belfast on Saturday evening and Wasps hosting Ulster on 24 August.

After eight weeks of pre-season training with the squad, Moore is looking forward to match action.

“The training facilities at Ulster are the best I have ever seen so we can have no excuses,” he added.

“We haven’t focused too much on Gloucester this week, it’s been more about what we need to do in terms of building into the new season.

“They are a formidable side but it’s not a game we want to win at all costs, instead it’s a game to try out new combinations and new players.

“Pre-season training has gone very well and we are now looking forward to taking that into matches.”

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