RUGBY: Rory Best returns for Ulster's European Champions Cup game in La Rochelle

Ulster's Andrew Trimble
Ulster's Andrew Trimble

Rory Best passed a fitness on Friday morning and has been included in the Ulster side which travels to France this weekend.

Best suffered a hamstring injury in mid September but was given the green light on Friday to take a spot on the bench for Sunday's European Champions Cup Pool A game at La Rochelle.

Andrew Trimble returns to the side having missed the last two games and he will become Ulster's most capped player of all time when he makes his 222nd appearance.

Robbie Diack will become the third player to reach the 200 cap milestone if he makes an apperance off the bench.

Ulster director of rugby, Les Kiss, has gone for an experienced side for the tie, calling in Trimble, Tommy Bowe and Darren Cave to a reshuffled backline and adding Callumn Black to the front row. He also has a strong bench to call on.

Iain Henderson, who captained Ulster for the first time during the 19-9 home win against Wasps last weekend, will again lead the side. He will line out in the back row alongside Chris Henry, who has returned from a larynx injury, as well as number 8 Sean Reidy.

Black will join Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst in the front row, with Kieran Treadwell and Al O'Connor occupying the second row berths.

Paul Marshall will partner Christian Lealiifano at half-back, with Ireland internationals Stuart McCloskey and Darren Cave combining in midfield. Trimble will link up with Tommy Bowe and Charles Piutau in the back three.

Matty Rea could make his European debut after being named on the bench, while Kyle McCall and Rodney Ah You will provide further forward cover along with Diack and Best.

John Cooney, Luke Marshall and Jacob Stockdale are also named in the squad and will offer plenty of attacking threats, should they be called upon.

Ulster: C Black, R Herring, W Herbst, K Treadwell, A O'Connor, I Henderson (captain), C Henry, S Reidy; P Marshall, C Lealiifano, T Bowe, S McCloskey, D Cave, A Trimble, C Piutau;
Replacements: R Best, K McCall, R Ah You, R Diack, M Rea, J Cooney, L Marshall, J Stockdale.

Robbie Diack

Robbie Diack

Rory Best

Rory Best