Best a step closer to return

Wed, 08 Jan 2014 09:05
Large rory best ball

Ireland hooker Rory Best could make a quicker than forecast return after being included in Ulster's squad for their European Cup tie against Montpellier.

Ireland hooker Rory Best could make a quicker than forecast return to action after being included in Ulster's squad for their European Cup tie against Montpellier on Friday.

Best was expected to be sidelined until at least the middle of January after breaking his arm in Ireland's last-gasp 22-24 defeat by New Zealand in Dublin in November.

However, the front row forward was included by Ulster coach Mark Anscombe in the squad.

"We'll do the best thing for Rory because there is a lot of big rugby ahead for him and us," Anscombe told the BBC.

"If we are going to get full value out of him, we have got to look after him now. We'll make sure we do the right thing."

French club Montpellier have no chance of qualifying for the knockout stages after losing three of their pool matches but a cautious Anscombe added: "There is no point in talking about [the final Pool game against] Leicester.

"We have got a pretty important game on Friday against Montpellier. If we don't do the job against Montpellier, what's the point worrying about Leicester."

Ulster currently lead Pool Five by three points from English giants Leicester, with only the pool winners guaranteed a quarter-final spot.

Montpellier led the French Top 14 when the two teams last met in October but a run of poor results has seen them drop down to seventh place since then.

Nevertheless, Anscombe said he was still worried by the threat posed by a side featuring several full internationals including the likes of Francois Trinh-Duc and Nicolas Mas.

"They have got some great backs and some big men up front."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 12 February 2016
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h30 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Zebre 19h30 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 19h45 Kingston Park
Scarlets v Edinburgh 20h15 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 13 February 2016
Treviso v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
France v Ireland 14h25 Paris
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Northampton Saints v London Irish 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Bath 15h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Wales v Scotland 16h50 Cardiff
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Thu, 18 February 2016
Fort Hare v Wits 16h30 East London
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Fri, 19 February 2016
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EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 6 0 0 28
Ulster 6 4 0 2 18
Oyonnax 6 1 0 5 7
Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 16
Ospreys 6 3 0 3 16
Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 15
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 4 1 1 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 1 1 19
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 14
Scarlets 6 0 0 6 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 6 5 0 1 23
Stade Francais 6 4 0 2 19
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Treviso 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 0 2 20
Toulon 6 5 0 1 20
Bath 6 2 0 4 10
Leinster 6 1 0 5 6