Ulster were beaten in the Guinness PRO12 semi-finals last term and hooker Rory Best insists their aim is go one further this time around.
The Irish province won their final four games of the regular season to seal a fourth-place finish, but suffered a 30-18 defeat to Leinster at a packed RDS Arena in the semi-final.
Not content to rest on their laurels, Ulster have enjoyed a busy summer of recruitment with versatile speedster Charles Piutau and flanker Marcell Coetzee among the new faces set to run out at Kingspan Stadium next term.
And Best expects their achievements in 2016/17 to eclipse last season’s showing.
“There really is a lot of excitement building around here, you just see the freshness you get after a bit of time away from each other,” Best told the club’s official website.
“The first week of pre-season is something you dread, you know it’s going to be tough, your legs are going to be sore and your body’s going to be sore.
“As the years go by it nearly gets a bit harder but it’s great to be back in, it was a nice break but it felt like a very short break.
“To meet the new guys, see all the familiar faces and be back in with the staff and there is a buzz for the new season.
“We’re aiming for big things here, when Les (Kiss) took over that was always his thing that we wouldn’t settle for second best.
“We took small steps last year but we know we've so much more to come.”
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