Les Kiss is feeling "more centred" at Ulster after his first pre-season

The Australian spoke to Newstalk Breakfast

BY Daniel Kelly 12:26 Friday 23 September 2016, 12:26 23 Sep 2016

Les Kiss Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Brian Little

Les Kiss is settling into his first full season with Ulster.

Kiss took over at the Kingspan Stadium last year, when he left the Irish setup after the World Cup. Ulster have won their opening three Pro12 games this season and the team lie in second place.

The Australian spoke to Newstalk Breakfast's Alan Quinlan this morning, and he feels the pre-season with the players has eased his role this season.

"I certainly feel a little bit more centred within the programme. When you come in midway throughout a programme, you're trying to get a lay of the land. I have some really good coaches around me. They have held a good steady ship when I was away. It's good to get on the ground with them, with the players, with the academy coaches and the academy players and work from the ground up."

"They've been fantastic. They have really grabbed on to the concepts and overall strategy that I have. It's been fantastic."

Charles Piutau joined the club this summer, and Kiss feels the New Zealander has the potential to perform brilliantly in Belfast and further afield.

"Good foreign players in the Irish system have always been such a great benefit. Doug Howlett is a great example. Charles is an new guy into the system. He's as good as you get on the pitch and off the pitch. His influence on the pitch with the young guys has been sensational."

While Piutau has joined the team, scrum-half Ruan Pienaar is to leave at the end of the season, after the IRFU decided against renewing his contract. Kiss understands the Union's position.

"The benefit we had from having Ruan here for a number of years, before I even got here has been immense. It is sad to see him go, but you have to see these things in balance. From the IRFU's perspective, they thought that Ruan had a number of years here and it was time to move on. We understand that... We have a lot of Irish guys here. Ruan is going to do his best this year to mentor them as much as possible."

Ulster face Glasgow Warriors this evening in Scotland as they look to overtake Ospreys at the top of the table. Like Ulster, the Scottish side could move to the top of the table with a bonus-point win.

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