Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Best wins Ireland injury battle

Rory Best

Ireland will enter their World Cup quarter-final against Wales with Rory Best at hooker after the Ulster front row won his injury battle.

Best has been passed fit after receiving intensive treatment on the shoulder problem sustained against Italy last Sunday and will start Saturday's clash at Wellington Regional Stadium.

Defence coach Les Kiss said: "Rory's come up great and is fine to start the game. We obviously had some precautions in place ready to cover him if he failed to pull through, but he's in tip top shape so full credit to him and the medics."

Ireland, unbeaten throughout the World Cup, are rated marginal favourites to win the first of the day's two quarter-finals.

Both sides have been in superb form and if the weather holds - some rain is expected - it promises to be a gripping encounter between the RBS 6 Nations rivals.

"This game is absolutely massive for both team. We spoke earlier about what it would be mean to people back home if we won," said Kiss.

"We want to reach a place we've never been before. We've played each other so much that it's fair to say it's 50-50.

"There will be critical pressure moments and it will be a 60-minutes plus game. The last 20 minutes will sort it out.

"It's a hard one to pick. There's been a lot of talk about the South Africa and Australia quarter being the game of the round, but watch this game. It's going to a real ding-dong battle but we're happy with the way our defence has gone.

"Wales have some interesting threats across the park, which are a little bit different to what Australia offer when we played them in the pool. They have a good bunch of guys who are playing good rugby."

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