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'There's a lot of guys that are playing good rugby in my position in Ireland'

Marty Moore shone at tighthead prop for Ulster as they beat Scarlets back-to-back in Europe.

AMONG THE MANY impressive aspects of Ulster’s back-to-back wins over Scarlets in the Heineken Champions Cup over the past fortnight were the performances of tighthead Marty Moore.

The 27-year-old was part of an excellent front row effort alongside captain Rory Best and emerging loosehead Eric O’Sullivan as Ulster’s pack fronted up in encouraging fashion.

Jordi Murphy and Marty Moore Moore [left] has been in strong form in recent weeks. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

With Moore winning scrum penalties, making strong contributions to the ruck and maul, as well as hitting tackle counts of 11 and 12 over the past two weekends, he underlined why Ulster recruited him last summer with a year left on his contract at Wasps.

While Tadhg Furlong is the first-choice at tighthead for Ireland, with Andrew Porter, John Ryan and Finlay Bealham among the competition in behind, Moore’s displays won’t have been missed by Ireland boss Joe Schmidt.

Schmidt name-checked Moore just before this season began, stating that the former Leinster prop was “looking in pretty good shape. He wasn’t in [Ireland's pre-season] camp but there’s good competition in behind Tadhg and it will keep Tadhg kicking on.”

Unfortunately for Moore, he suffered a calf injury to delay his Ulster debut but has since recovered fully and played eight times for his new province ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Munster.

Speaking on today’s episode of Heineken Rugby Weekly, Moore underlined the fact that he has to continue to perform for Ulster if he is to push back into Schmidt’s squad and add to the 10 Test caps he won in 2014 and 2015. 

“He’s just letting me do my thing and the last time we spoke it was the same thing, he said it’s up to me to get out there and play my rugby,” said Moore. “I know that as well as anyone, it’s up to the player.

“For me, I want to go out there and my sole focus is to, first of all, earn the opportunity to play for Ulster week-to-week and then hopefully I can add to the team performances. 

Marty Moore celebrates with Rory Best after his side won a penalry Moore last played for Ireland in 2015. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“We’ve been lucky enough that we’ve done well in the last couple of weeks as a squad and that reflects well on the players. You look at November and see guys who have done very well, especially someone like Will Addison.

“He’s been a huge player for us at Ulster and he’s starting to make an impact on the international set-up as well. Those rewards are there and it’s out of the players’ hands, to an extent, whether they’re there or not. Hopefully, I can do everything on my side to put myself in a good position to do that.

“There’s a lot of guys that are playing good rugby in my position in Ireland, so it’s not just about what I do. If I can be playing consistently and improving, that’s going to help my case on a Test stage.”

Moore also discussed the impact Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has had on him, the improvement of the province’s scrum and how being a father for the first time this year has put rugby into perspective.

Meanwhile, this week’s Heineken Rugby Weekly saw Gavan Casey joined by Andy Dunne and Murray Kinsella to discuss the provinces’ form heading into the festive inter-pros and much more.

You can listen to the podcast in full below or via all major podcast apps.


Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

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