Ulster players John Cooney and Marcell Coetzee say that the young talent is forcing against the senior players as competition for places becomes tighter, to enhance their game.

Former Ulster Academy players such as Eric O’Sullivan Tom O’Toole and Michael Lowry have impressed since making the step up.

Cooney adds that the state are benefitting from the experience gained by the players that were a member of the Ireland squad throughout the autumn internationals that are recent.

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