EPCR Challenge Cup: 'Massive test' for Ulster

EPCR Challenge Cup: 'Massive test' for Ulster

Ulster Rugby interim head coach Richie Murphy admits tackling Montpellier Hérault Rugby on their own turf will be “a massive test” for his side in their EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 match-up on Sunday.

The Northern Ireland outfit travel to the south of France off the back of two United Rugby Championship defeats on their mini-tour to South Africa, going down in hard-fought contests against Hollywoodbets Sharks (22-12) and DHL Stormers (13-7). 

And Murphy insists that while their French opponents may be struggling near the foot of the TOP 4, the two-times EPCR Challenge Cup winners present a significant challenge as Ulster Rugby seek to book their place in the last eight.  

"Montpellier away is a tough, hostile place to go. We will deal with that,” said Murphy. “The Sunday game gives us a little bit more time [to recover], but they are a big physical team with a good home record.  

“It’s another massive test for us, but we want to get through to the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup.” 

Ulster Rugby, one of four teams dropping down from the Investec Champions Cup into the knockout stage, bowed out in the semi-final on their last appearance in this competition three seasons ago.

And against Montpellier Hérault Rugby, who went down 10-12 to league leaders Stade Français Paris last Saturday, Ulster Rugby will need their A game to progress.  

Tighthead prop Tom O’Toole believes Ulster Rugby are not far off reaching the levels to emerge from what could be an arm wrestle on the winning side. 

“We’re fighting at the moment as a team and as a club. We want to be more clinical and get a bit more ball and attack,” he said.  

“The coaches have made it clear about what our standards should be and we’ll keep driving towards that in the player group.” 

The match kicks off at 12:30 BST at the GGL Stadium and is available to watch on beIN SPORTS, Viaplay, Premier Sports and FloRugby. 

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