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Youngsters have set the standard says McLaughlin

Guinness PRO12 Editor

29 Dec 2011

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin is challenging his senior stars to use their protégés’ impressive display against Leinster as motivation for Friday’s sell-out clash with Munster.

Ravenhill will be packed to the rafters as Ulster seek to bounce back from their youthful side’s inter-provincial 42-13 defeat to Leinster on Boxing Day.

One of five players making their debut, Chris Cochrane scored Ulster’s only try as McLaughlin rung the changes to preserve his experienced heads for the visit of the RaboDirect PRO12 champions.

And, despite the resounding loss, McLaughlin was full of praise for his rising stars and is demanding similar dynamism from his returning regulars against Jo Schmidt’s Leinster.

"Our senior players will have been sitting at home watching that match,” said McLaughlin.

“They'll have seen the energy and urgency that some of those young fellas brought to the game.

“If we can get the same amount of energy from our top players on Friday night then we'll be in business.

“I thought our youngsters held their hand up exceptionally well on the night.

“They key thing is that they learn from it. They've got to because they were in the game for long periods of time but when you get opportunities at this level you've got to take them.

“They made Leinster work hard for parts of the game and, from my point of view, it was a good night for the young guys and a superb learning experience.”