belfasttelegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Best's ready to Ror again

Rory Best looks set to make a sensational return to the Ireland side for their do-or-die World Cup clash against Argentina on Sunday.

The Ulster hooker, who missed the 25-3 defeat to France having dislocated his thumb in the victory over Georgia, will find out today whether he is fully fit to take his place in the line-up to face Los Pumas.

The initial prognosis ruled Best out of the final two pool games, with Jerry Flannery taking his place against the French in Paris.

But the 25-year-old's progress has been ahead of schedule. He took part in training at the Stade Bordelais yesterday morning and Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan yesterday gave him an extra 24 hours to prove his fitness, leaving the hooker's berth vacant when he announced his line-up.

"Rory has almost recovered from his injury and we will know in the next 24 hours if he is available," said O'Sullivan last night.

"He is pretty close actually. The medical team have performed a bit of a miracle there.

"Also, Jerry Flannery picked up a knock in training yesterday in a contact session and he should be okay as well. So we are optimistic that both should be fit but we don't know for sure so until we have clarification on that we will leave AN Other position at hooker."

Geordan Murphy and Denis Hickie have been brought back from the cold for Ireland's desperate bid to keep their World Cup campaign alive against Argentina on Sunday.

Murphy comes into the side at full-back in place of Girvan Dempsey, while Hickie replaces Ulster's Andrew Trimble, who drops to the bench, on the left wing.