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Anscombe targeting silverware for Ulster

Guinness PRO12 Editor

12 Mar 2012

He may not be taking over the head coaching job at Ulster until the summer but Mark Anscombe already has his sights set on bringing trophies to Ravenhill.

The former New Zealand Under-20s head coach will take over at end of this season but before then Ulster are still in contention in both the RaboDirect PRO12 and the Heineken Cup.

And Anscombe is confident he has what it takes to convert the Ulstermen from nearly men to champions.

"One of the challenges I will face is to work in a different environment and create a team capable of winning competitions," he said.

"It's all about developing the pool of players, with strength in depth, who will be competitive over a long season.

"You need to have a fairly dominant pack to survive in two competitions.

"The side has been developing well, making the Heineken Cup quarter-finals in successive seasons, and progressing well in the RaboDirect Pro12.”

Anscombe has, in particular, targeted an improvement in the squad’s strength in depth while also praising the South African influence on the squad with the likes of Ruan Pienaar and Pedrie Wannenburg impressing in their time at Ravenhill.

"The skill level is improving but we want to get that edge and have sufficient strength in depth so that if injuries occur, we are not relying heavily on the same six or seven players,” he added.

"It will obviously be a change of circumstances and climate for me, but it's something I am looking forward to.

"I have worked with Jared Payne and John Afoa before and Ulster have some good quality South Africans too – I know they've made a big contribution since they've been here."