Monday 12 November 2018

Ankle woe keeps Best out of 'quins rematch

Ulster captain Rory Best Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Ulster captain Rory Best Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Ulster will again be without their inspirational captain Rory Best when Harlequins come to Belfast on Friday night (7.45pm kick-off).

The Ireland skipper missed out on the reverse fixture last Sunday with an infected ankle, which will once again rule him out as Ulster bid to further boost their chances of clinching a place in the Champions Cup quarter-finals.

Tommy Bowe will also miss out. Having nursed a hamstring injury for the first 50 minutes last Sunday, he missed the only full training session of the week.

With the five-day turnaround, and their late arrival back in Belfast on Sunday, Ulster regrouped at the indoor facilities at Jordanstown yesterday, with the captain's run tomorrow all that's left before Friday's rematch. With Luke Marshall and Jared Payne already out, Bowe's absence robs the team of another option for the No 13 jersey, but Jono Gibbes does not believe Ulster are short.

Darren Cave, stuck on 199 Ulster outings since the win over Treviso last month, wasn't involved in the party that travelled to London, or indeed the 'A' team for their B&I Cup win over Hartbury, but the head coach mooted a possible return, while also citing the flexibility of Louis Ludik and Jacob Stockdale as options.

"(Bowe) has been nursing a hamstring, he came off early," he said. "Just because of the way the week's worked, I don't think Tommy will be involved."

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport