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."


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Fri, 04 December 2015
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h05 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Edinburgh 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Sale Sharks 19h45 Kingsholm
Sat, 05 December 2015
Treviso v Scarlets 15h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 15h00 Scotstoun
Harlequins v London Irish 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Northampton Saints 15h15 Recreation Ground
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 17h30 Ricoh Arena
Sun, 06 December 2015
Dragons v Munster 14h30 Rodney Parade
Newcastle Falcons v Saracens 15h00 Kingston Park
Zebre v Ospreys 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 2 2 0 0 9
Toulouse 2 1 0 1 4
Oyonnax 1 0 0 1 1
Ulster 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Ospreys 2 1 0 1 6
Clermont Auvergne 1 1 0 0 5
Exeter Chiefs 2 1 0 1 5
Bordeaux 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Northampton Saints 2 2 0 0 8
Racing Metro 1 1 0 0 5
Scarlets 2 0 0 2 1
Glasgow Warriors 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 2 2 0 0 10
Munster 1 1 0 0 5
Stade Francais 1 0 0 1 0
Treviso 2 0 0 2 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 2 2 0 0 9
Bath 1 1 0 0 4
Leinster 2 0 0 2 1
Toulon 1 0 0 1 0