‘It’s going really well’ – Doak

Date published: August 3 2016

Ulster head coach Neil Doak is confident his team are progressing nicely ahead of the PRO12 campaign, which they start against the Dragons.

Doak's men are preparing to face Leinster on August 13 in their opening pre-season match and are readying themselves at a camp in Portugal.

"It's going really well," the head coach told Ulster's official website.

"We've adjusted a few plays and added in a few other nuances, so the camp allows us to have a concentrated period were we can get everybody up to speed. There's 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."

He continued: "Obviously we had different return dates for different groups of players; senior internationals, Irish U20s, the new guys coming in and everyone else. For the internationals the first week has been a little bit of a shock to the system. Some of the guys are four weeks ahead of them in terms of training volume so there is always a bit of catch up. But you can see the intensity of training is right up there and that's what we need."

Playing for Ulster this season will be Charles Piutau and Marcell Coetzee, although the latter is currently injured. However, Doak has been impressed with how the New Zealand international back is progressing at training.

"The new guys have been superb. 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," he said.