There's mixed news on the injury front for Ulster ahead of Saturday's Guinness PRO-14 playoff with Connacht. Jacob Stockdale looks set to miss out on the game at Kingspan Stadium with a hamstring injury. However, captain Rory Best could make his return in that game.
Best hasn't played since damaging ankle ligaments in Ulster's Heineken Champions Cup quarter final defeat to Leinster at the end of last month, but his head coach Dan McFarland says the soon-to-be retiring hooker has made quick progress in his rehabilitation.
McFarland told the press today, "Well Rory is training at the moment so there's positive progress at the moment"
“We're not going to definitively decide anything on that yet but it's looking reasonably positive."
McFarland wasn't so positive when approached about Stockdale's chances of playing on Saturday evening, saying it's unlikely the winger will be involved. The 23-year old sustained a hamstring injury in the PRO-14 win over Edinburgh that sealed the province's place in the knockout phase of the competition.
🗣 Ulster Head Coach Dan McFarland is delighted his side have secured a home PRO14 quarter-final, and the sights are now set on beating Connacht this Saturday.
Match tickets ➡️ https://t.co/Uw4XjH3Ejm pic.twitter.com/VxdqCqNTRi
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) April 30, 2019
It's also been confirmed that Sean Reidy sustained a concussion in last weekend's win over Leinster at the RDS, but not as a result of the alleged headbutt from Fergus McFadden. The Leinster wing has been cited for the incident, and will appear before a disciplinary panel via video-conference tomorrow.
McFarland says Reidy took a bump to the head from Alan O'Connor while attempting to clear out a ruck.
Quinn Roux remains out for Connacht but Andy Friend otherwise has a fully fit squad to pick from.
Everyone’s in the Team Of Us.
Vodafone. The Official Sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team.