| 4.1°C Dublin

In brief: Ulster's Best hopes boosted

Ulster skipper Rory Best still has an outside chance of being fit for Saturday's win-or-bust Heineken Cup clash against Aironi in Viadana.

Best has made a remarkable recovery from a rib cartilage injury and was involved in team training yesterday ahead of the Pool 4 clash.

In the back of his mind, however, coach Brian McLaughlin maybe fearing the worst, particularly with BJ Botha already ruled out with an elbow injury which will require surgery later this week.

"I believe Rory popped a cartilage at the end of the Biarritz game, but it appeared to rectify itself on Sunday and the pain has dissipated," said McLaughlin. "He took part in line-out work and seemed fine. We will be doing scrummaging work and we will see how that works out before making any decision on his availability."


Mike Hussey was included in the final Australia squad for the World Cup yesterday despite undergoing surgery for a hamstring injury, while his brother David has earned a first call-up for the event.

Hussey hurt his hamstring in the first of seven ODIs against England on Sunday and his place in the next three matches will be taken by left-handed opener Shaun Marsh.

"Michael has had corrective surgery," Australia's team physiotherapist said. "The recovery time and availability for the World Cup will be dependent on his progress with the rehabilitation programme."


Disgraced rider Floyd Landis, the man who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for doping and accused Lance Armstrong of cheating, has retired.

"I'll never start on a line on a road and try to get to another line on a road faster than another guy. That's over," Landis stated.

Landis won the Tour in 2006 but failed a dope test for testosterone during the race and was stripped of the title.

Irish Independent