Ireland hooker Rory Best says he is looking forward to the challenge that awaits him after being named Ulster captain for a second time.
The 31-year-old, who played a part in every match of Ireland's glorious 2014 RBS 6 Nations campaign, replaces Johann Muller as skipper after the South African's retirement.
Best previously held the role at the province, for whom he has made 152 appearances, between 2007 and 2011.
And he insists the experience he's picked up in the last three years will make him a better captain than ever before.
"It is a huge honour to captain your province. I enjoyed doing it a few years ago but in 2011, I felt I just needed to step down and to concentrate on my game," he told the club's website.
"We also had a ready-made captain in the squad in Johann which made it easier and he did a fantastic job.
"It is nice to have been asked to do it again. With the extra experience that I have gained at provincial and international level in recent years I believe that I am more equipped than ever before to lead this group of players.
"Being the captain of Ulster is something that I absolutely love doing and I am looking forward to the challenge of the new season."
Wales' acting head coach Rob Howley has given Sam Davies and Rory Thornton a boost ahead of the RBS 6 Nations by naming the uncapped Ospreys duo in his largely experienced squad for the Autumn Internationals.