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Rugby World Cup: Final push pays off for Rory Best

By Hugh Farrelly

Ulster’s Rory Best has won his fitness battle to start Ireland’s biggest match ever — Saturday morning’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Wales here in Wellington.

Best’s name appeared on the Ireland teamsheet submitted to the tournament organisers right on this morning’s deadline for inclusion.

All matchday 22s must be finalised 48 hours before kick-off, in this case 6.00am BST at Wellington Regional Stadium.

Best's inclusion indicates the Irish medical team are satisfied he will complete his recovery from his shoulder injury in time to face Wales.

The Ulster hooker sprained the AC joint on his right shoulder during Sunday's 36-6 victory over Italy and has been receiving intensive treatment since.

He appeared to prove his fitness to coach Declan Kidney as he was pictured here yesterday subjecting his shoulder to rigorous testing in training. Sean Cronin will step up from the bench should he suffer a setback.

Wales’ line-up sees four changes, plus two positional switches, from that which clinched the Pool D runner-up spot by trouncing Fiji.

Fit-again Shane Williams returns to the wing, Jonathan Davies is back at centre, Dan Lydiate joins the back row and Alun Wyn Jones is named at lock.

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