Ulster Rugby flanker Nick Timoney has warned Sale Sharks that the Irish province will enter their make-or-break Heineken Champions Cup Round 4 home game against the Gallagher Premiership team on Saturday night “with all guns blazing”.

Ulster are currently three points adrift of the qualification places for the Round of 16 in Pool B in 10th place, but that could change if they defeat the ninth-placed Sharks at Kingspan Stadium.

“Taking a step back, we are still in a position where we can get in the knockout stages in the league and Champions Cup, so we’ll go into Sale all guns blazing and it will be an exciting home game,” Timoney said. “I don’t think I’ve played a home game in months, so I’m looking forward to it.”

The back-row forward underlined how important Ulster’s home support will be, adding that they have “stuck with us during this run, so they deserve something to cheer about”.

Ulster have lost all three of their Heineken Champions Cup games so far this season, including a 39-0 mauling at Sale in Round 1, so head coach Dan McFarland is eager to end that barren run.

“We will focus on putting in a performance that puts us on the path to winning and we haven’t played a Champions Cup game at home yet this season, so we’re really excited for that,” he said.

McFarland is hoping his men can recover from what he described as a “heartbreaking” 7-3 loss at Stade Rochelais last Saturday, when they succumbed to an 81st minute try.

“The guys will remember this game,” he said. “We were 60 seconds away from beating the European champions at home. With the backdrop of our run of fixtures going into the game, we churned out a performance.”