Rob Baloucoune hoping his injury woes are behind him
ULSTER winger Rob Baloucoune is hoping that his troublesome hamstring woes are behind him as he gets ready to face Leinister in the knockout stages of the of the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday evening.
Baloucoune has only played five times for Ulster this season due to injury and took no part in Ireland’s grand slam win during the Six Nations.
After two months out with his latest injury the 25-year-old made a try scoring return after two minutes during Ulster’s bonus point win over the Bulls last Saturday night at Kingspan Stadium.
“I definitely could not ask for a better start, a couple of minutes into the game, Mikey (Lowry) did most of the work and got me into the corner, I was really pleased to be back on the pitch, feeling fit, and feeling fit after the game which was a priority coming into this week as well,” said Baloucoune.
“I suppose I had to dust off the cobwebs from not playing and getting back into the swing of things around the team.”
“I have done enough training to build myself back (to fitness) but with the team it is different whenever you are playing a match.”
“I came in from pre-season flying, obviously played those kind of games for (Emerging) Ireland.”
“It is tough enough when you are trying to play games, I was kind of struggling with my hamstring, kind of caused a fair bit of injury.”
“It is about managing my hamstring, it is tough enough to balance between the two.”
“All I can do is train, perform and try and get back to where I was, carry on the rehab as much as I can in between the weeks of training.”
“I watch my sprinting loads during the week, do my hamstring exercises, to keep on top of my hamstring and keep it ticking over.”
“It is the hamstring that I tore off the bone.”
“Tendinopathy, so it is tendon pain that once it starts to go it is hard to, it needs rest to keep control of it, I find that stuff in the gym really helps it.”
“It probably will be better when I am not in games be able to focus on it a wee bit more and keep control of it.”
Ulster have already lost twice in the league this season to Leinster, Dan McFarland side squandered a 19 point lead at the RDS in December despite the hosts being reduced to 14 men after Cian Healy’s red card.
Leinster are unbeaten in 20 games this season in all competitions wining 19 and drawing one but with five wins in their last six games Baloucoune insists Ulster travel to Dublin with confidence.
“We’ll Just go in with the same mindset that we had for the URC games, we know that we are going to have to bring a huge game, but we are always up for an interpro, it’s not hard to get up for it.”
“We are all looking forward to it, the last time we did play them in Europe we were close to beating them, there is a buzz about the place.”
“It’s definitely there, we believe in ourselves, that’s all you can do.”
“Past experiences of beating them down there, we will definitely take that coming into this week.”