Rugby

Caledonia is calling and confidence is key for Doak and for Ulster

Scrum-half Nathan Doak speaks to the media ahead of Ulster's clash with Glasgow Warriors this Saturday. Picture by Pacemaker Press
Scrum-half Nathan Doak speaks to the media ahead of Ulster's clash with Glasgow Warriors this Saturday. Picture by Pacemaker Press Scrum-half Nathan Doak speaks to the media ahead of Ulster's clash with Glasgow Warriors this Saturday. Picture by Pacemaker Press

CONFIDENCE is key, at least to Ulster scrum-half Nathan Doak anyway.

The 21-year-old has shown everyone that he has an experienced head on young shoulders and proves that age is but a number, certainly in terms of rugby.

The former Wallace High School pupil has established himself as a vital cog in this Ulster engine, with his kicking success rate currently sitting at 90%.

Ulster faces their biggest challenge of the season so far as they travel to Glasgow to face the Warriors in Scotstoun on Saturday, Doak is confident going into the clash.

The son of former Ulster scrum-half and head coach Neil Doak, seems to have taken his fathers lessons into his own career and doesn't appear to exhibited fear of big games or moments.

I’m happy that I’m getting good minutes so I can’t complain.

“I feel like I have put together some nice moments and some moments to work on as well, which is probably the story of every athlete’s career."

Ulster's Nathan Doak breaks clear with opposite number Craig Casey closing in during the URC match between Ulster and Munster at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday      Picture: Brian Little
Ulster's Nathan Doak breaks clear with opposite number Craig Casey closing in during the URC match between Ulster and Munster at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday Picture: Brian Little Ulster's Nathan Doak breaks clear with opposite number Craig Casey closing in during the URC match between Ulster and Munster at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday Picture: Brian Little

Ulster have only lost one game this year, even then it was a tigt away fixture to inter-provincial rivals Connacht

“Over the years we have had some big wins on the road and we want to add this scalp to our list", said the scrum-half.

“They are second in the league so if we get a win over there at the weekend then it puts us in a nice position when it comes to playing Edinburgh at home.”

Ulster currently sit third in the United Rugby Championship, with their Scottish opponents one place above them thanks to bonus points and have won 21 of their last 22 home games.

Doak added: “They’ve obviously done really well at home and us going over there sets out a good challenge for who we want to be as a team.

“We’re going to prep really well this week.”

If he plays on Saturday night against Glasgow Warriors will win his 50th cap for Ulster.

“It’s quite a nice milestone to hit if I do play this week," said Doak.

"it will be something that I, personally, will be delighted with and I hope there is a lot more to come."

 “They’ve obviously done really well at home and us going over there sets out a good challenge for who we want to be as a team." - Nathan Doak on Glasgow's 21 wins out of 22 home games. Picture by Pacemaker Press
“They’ve obviously done really well at home and us going over there sets out a good challenge for who we want to be as a team." - Nathan Doak on Glasgow's 21 wins out of 22 home games. Picture by Pacemaker Press “They’ve obviously done really well at home and us going over there sets out a good challenge for who we want to be as a team." - Nathan Doak on Glasgow's 21 wins out of 22 home games. Picture by Pacemaker Press

Doak has been part of the Ulster squad since 2021, and has learned a lot of lessons in his time with the province.

“Every game is the same, don’t make it out to be something that it is not." recounted the back, is Ulster's leading point-scorer so far this season after five games.

“The biggest game I have played in was probably Leinster away last year and it didn’t go too well for us but in playing that game and playing last week against the Lions at home, I still had the same responsibilities and the same process going into the games.

“You‘re still going out there, 15 against 15 and you’re still playing rugby so having that mentality going through the preparation.

“I still have a lot of learning to do, I’m only 21 so hopefully I can keep learning and winning.”