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Best remains sidelined but Henry set for Ulster return for La Rochelle clash

 

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster know they will have to do without skipper Rory Best for their crunch Champions Cup clash with La Rochelle on Sunday (3.15pm kick-off), but can at least welcome his deputy Chris Henry back into the fold.

Best has missed out so far this season due to hamstring troubles, and was described yesterday by head coach Jono Gibbes as still "week to week", but Henry returns after missing the win over Wasps with a larynx injury.

Scrum-half John Cooney and back-rower Jean Deysel are also fit to play after picking up knocks last time out.

"Rory is still week to week," confirmed Gibbes. "He was involved with the squad this week but I think it may just be too early for him.

"He has reached the next level of involvement in the session yesterday. So it's the players' day off today, then we'll see how it goes with him."

La Rochelle have lost only once at home since the start of last season and Gibbes has said his squad will need to stick together in a daunting atmosphere.

"It's the collective that's our best asset going down there," he added. "That's why you need your team-mates, you need to be as tight as you can because that's all you've got down there."

ULSTER CAN SPOIL PARTY: P44-45

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