Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Best set to benefit from Kidney’s first selection

Having trimmed his initial squad down to 34 players on Friday, Ireland coach Declan Kidney will make his final cut tomorrow for the opening game of his tenure against Canada on Saturday.

And Ulster captain Rory Best is set to feature in Kidney’s first starting XV for the clash against the Canadians at Thomond Park.

Kidney, who was assistant coach under Eddie O’Sullivan between 2002 and 2004, admits this is a week he has looked forward to for a long time.

“It’s daunting and it’s challenging, you can get frightened and you can get exhilarated, you have all those feelings,” said Kidney, the former Munster coach. “It's a huge challenge.

“There’s an onus to get the preparation right and to get players to play to the best of their ability.

“The team is built on the strength of the provinces, because of the good work that’s going on in all four provinces.

“My job is to focus on how the teams are playing and if they’re improving along the lines and then cherry pick from those players to represent us all.

“We are just trying to add a small bit to that to see if we can move it on.”

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