ONE thing is for sure in Belfast tonight – we know that we have to start sharply if we are to upset the odds against Ulster.

We're back in the Guinness PRO14 after a mixed bag in the European Challenge Cup, doing well over in Romania in our win against Timisoara Saracens but then being the masters of our own downfall against Northampton.

It's always going to be hard to come back from giving a side a 21-point head start and the worst thing was that it all came from our own mistakes.

We let ourselves down and gave Northampton easy launches for their power game; they are a decent English side and will always hurt you if you gift them chances in your 22.

It's a tough European group for us, with Top 14 leaders Clermont Auvergne looking good. They will be even tougher competition in the famous Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin and when they head to Newport.

Last week we caused our own problems and gave Northampton easy points, while we had to work hard for ours after the break.

It was a frustrating game for supporters and players alike but we have to bounce back and go for it at Ulster.

We've lost our Wales internationals – six is the most for a long time – and it's an opportunity for other boys to come in and take their chances over the next few weeks.

It's down to us now, the scrum and attacking lineout went pretty well against Northampton but a low error count will be vital at the Kingspan.

Me being a lock is getting a few giggles from mates – former Dragons hooker Rhys Buckley was quick to message me with the Argus story about my move there – and in the past any back rower would have seen changing to lock as negative.

But since moving forward I have actually enjoyed the role, especially the challenge of calling the lineouts from there, something I am familiar with and a part of the game I have always enjoyed.

I am happy to have another string to my bow and I think that I have slotted in quite well, we'll just have to wait to see if I am a back row who can play second row or the other way round!

WE'LL have a familiar face at 10 tonight and it's good to have Jason Tovey back for a third time.

I've known him for years, after coming through the academy as teenagers and I have been on the pitch in the Newport and Dragons jersey many times with him before.

Tovey was part of an old carshare group with me, Ashley Smith, Buckley and Adam Hughes and when he came back from Edinburgh to sign for Cross Keys we were in touch to see how it was going.

Then we had a bit of an injury crisis at fly-half and the boys started putting two and two together, asking him if it was going to happen.

Next thing he messaged me asking if he could share lifts to training again, and he's impressed enough to get a chance.

As forwards we are looking forward to seeing what he can do with that left peg, putting us in the right areas – and in getting our back line going.

We all know what Tovey is about and this is a great opportunity for him to show what he is capable of.

It shows the strength of depth that is required in every position if any squad is to have a successful season in both the league and Europe. When everyone is fit there will be a hell of a battle for not just the 10 jersey but from 1 to 15.