Belfast Telegraph

Rory Best ruled out for up to three weeks

Ireland hooker Rory Best may have played his last match in the 2007 World Cup after he was ruled out for up to three weeks with a dislocated thumb.

Best sustained the damage to his right hand during last night's 14-10 victory over Georgia.

A scan this morning revealed the extent of the injury, which sidelines the Ulster hooker for the remaining Pool D games against France and Argentina.

With Ireland's dismal form pointing to an early group exit, Best may have to wait another four years for his next World Cup involvement.

A medical bulletin read, "There is a small crack to the bone and the recovery period for this is between two and three weeks. This will definitely rule Best out of selection for the final two pool games of the tournament against France and Argentina."

Winger Denis Hickie and prop John Hayes are both expected to be fit for Friday's clash with France despite incurring injuries against Georgia.

Hickie suffered a bruised knee which has responded well to treatment while Hayes has a tight calf and will only take a limited part in training tomorrow.

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