Ulster linked with Blair bid
Ulster have been linked with a £300,000 bid for Scottish international Mike Blair as their Kiwi-born Irishman Isaac Boss prepares to join Leinster.
Leinster are keen to extend their scrum-half options as Eoin Reddan has been suffering from injury.
Meanwhile, Rory Best linked up with his Irish colleagues in Limerick yesterday as the Six Nations build-up began in earnest. Best returned from a neck injury for Banbridge at the weekend.
"It was great just to get back playing againand a huge relief," said Best. "The neck gave me no bother.
"It was a problem that was diagnosed pre-season. I was told then that surgery would be required if I was to continue with my rugby career so in the end it was an easy decision to make.
"There were some difficult days, especially when training hard in cold, icy conditions, wondering if you would ever pull on a jersey again. But two men in particular were there for me all the time, physio Gareth Robinson and fitness coach Jonny Davis and that made a huge difference."
Donncha O'Callaghan (knee) and Sean Cronin (ankle) are on the easy-list, while Jerry Flannery and Marcus Horan got some game-time in the AIB League as Ireland's front-row crisis recedes ahead the Six Nations opener against Italy.