Monday 18 December 2017

Ulster welcome back Rory Best and Johann Muller for Montpellier tie

Rory Best is determined to play a big part for the Lions after his late call-up
Rory Best is determined to play a big part for the Lions after his late call-up

Rory Best and Johann Muller have recovered from injury and have been named in the Ulster starting XV to face Montpellier at Ravenhill tomorrow night.

Best suffered a broken arm playing for Ireland in the narrow defeat to the All Blacks seven weeks ago. He has returned to play ahead of schedule and is selected in the front row alongside John Afoa and Tom Court.

“I knew that it was going to be a tight ask to get back for these games, but it is testament to the medical team that we have here, Michael Eames the surgeon and the strength and conditioning coaches at Ulster that I am back,” Best said.

“I have been fortunate that there have been no set-backs along the way and it has just been a case of trying to push on and thankfully I have come through.”

Johann Muller, who captains the side, missed last week’s game against Munster with a calf strain and returns to the second row where he partners Dan Tuohy.

Nick Williams and Chris Henry start in the back row, with Robbie Diack continuing at blindside.

The same backline that started against Munster is selected to face Montpellier, with Ruan Pienaar at scrumhalf, Paddy Jackson at outhalf, Luke Marshall and Darren Cave in midfield, and Craig Gilroy, Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne in the back three.

The match will be particularly significant for Andrew Trimble. He will play his 58th game in the Heineken Cup, setting a new Ulster appearance record in the competition.

Ulster XV and replacements to face Montpellier:

J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, C Gilroy, P Jackson, R Pienaar: T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (Captain), D Tuohy, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams; Replacements

Replacements: R Herring, C Black, D Fitzpatrick, I Henderson, R Wilson, S Doyle, P Marshall, M Allen.

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