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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 17 December, 2018

Rory Best on crutches as Ireland captain suffers injury setback in training

The hooker was pictured ahead of Ulster’s Pro14 clash with Scarlets.

Best on pitch before tonight's game.
Best on pitch before tonight's game.
Image: Inpho

ULSTER’S INJURY CURSE appears to have struck again after it emerged Rory Best, the Ireland captain, sustained a hamstring injury in training yesterday.

The hooker arrived at Kingspan Stadium ahead of tonight’s Guinness Pro14 game against Scarlets on crutches and the province are awaiting the results of a scan to determine the extent of the damage.

Best could now be a doubt for Ireland’s November internationals against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina, with reports suggesting he could be out for six weeks. He could also miss Ulster’s first two Champions Cup pool games against Wasps and La Rochelle.

The 35-year-old, who was re-appointed Ulster captain for this season and led the Lions’ midweek side during the tour of New Zealand, had yet to return to action following an extended summer break.

Along with Iain Henderson and Jared Payne, Best was expected to be available for Ulster’s round six interpro fixture against Connacht.

Best joins Marcell Coetzee, Charles Piutau, Craig Gilroy and Jean Deysel in the Ravenhill treatment room with the latter a late withdrawal from tonight’s team after sustaining ‘minor eye trauma’ during yesterday’s captain’s run.

Both Coetzee and Piutau are expected to be back next week but Gilroy faces a longer period on the sidelines after being ruled out for three months.

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Ryan Bailey

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