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, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 4 1 1 21
Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4