Ulster return for Johann Muller and Rory Best

Rory Best
Rory Best

International hooker, Rory Best, is poised to make a sooner than expected return from a neck injury to playing this weekend when Ulster travel to play Scarlets.

Best was named in a 25-man provisional squad on Wednesday - one of two hookers included - for the game in Llanelli on Sunday as Ulster look to go 10 points clear at the top of the PRO12.

Ulster captain, Johann Muller, was also included in the list as he recovers from a hand injury.

Both players will be involved - although Best’s inclusion was still dependent on the outcome of a visit to a specialist late Wednesday evening.

Ulster travelled with a weakened squad to Italy for the past week, picking up two narrow victoreis against Zebre and Benetton Treviso.

All the international players were returned following the Autumn Tests, but Ulster are resting Chris Henry and Ruan Pienaar.

Paddy Wallace is also rested as Ulster prepare for what will be a tough month of key PRO12 and Heineken Cup fixtures before the turn of the year.

However, eight of the internationals, including new caps, Iain Henderson and Craig Gilroy, were both included in the panel.

The Ulster pack has plenty of experience and power to it with Muller and Best adding to that.

There will be further opportunity for the likes of Luke Marshall and Paddy Jackson to get starts in the Ulster shirts having both played in the non-cap Ireland international against Fiji.

It will be interesting to see which two players will start on the wings, with seasoned internationals, Tommy Bowe and Andrew Trimble both included along with new star, Gilroy


Forwards: Rob Herring, Rory Best, Callum Black, Tom Court, Declan Fitzpatrick, John Afoa, Neil McComb, Johann Muller, Dan Tuohy, Iain Henderson, Robbie Diack, Mike McComish, Roger Wilson, Nick Williams.

Backs: Michael Heaney, Paul Marshall, Niall O’Connor, Paddy Jackson, Luke Marshall, Darren Cave, Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble, Craig Gilroy, Jared Payne, Peter Nelson.