Planet Rugby

Cave optimistic after Ulster shock

31st July 2014 05:40

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Progress: Darren Cave

Ireland and Ulster centre Darren Cave has a positive outlook on the new season for the Irish province, despite a turbulent off-season.

The dramatic departures from Ravenhill of director of rugby David Humphreys, followed swiftly by head coach Mark Anscombe, surprised many.

Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss is in temporary charge for now in Belfast and with him at the helm Cave, a big fan, has faith Ulster can kick on.

"I've always had a great relationship with Les and I think he's an absolutely fantastic coach," Cave told the .

"We can now only look forwards and all I can say again is how excited I am about working under Les."

Revealing the moment he heard of Humphreys' decision to leave Gloucester and join Ulster, Cave admitted his understandable shock.

The 27-year-old featured for Ireland in Argentina and is in a battle with the likes of team-mate Jared Payne and Connacht's Robbie Henshaw to permanently secured Brian O'Driscoll's 13 shirt.

"It was the day of the first Test match in Argentina (for Ireland) and at lunchtime when I got a text from Stephen Ferris and that was the first I heard about David Humphreys (leaving)," added Cave.

"We were all very shocked and there was no hiding that, but we were focusing on the games over there at the time and I think it's all credit to Shane Logan (Ulster Rugby chief executive) and the other powers that be at Ulster for making some gutsy calls but I think they've got some good people in good places."

Cave is set to return 'a couple of weeks' into the new Pro12 season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

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