Rory Best a doubt for start of Six Nations

Ireland and Ulster hooker broke a bone in his arm against New Zealand yesterday

Rory Best scores his sides try despite the defending of Luke Romano and Sam Whitelock. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Rory Best scores his sides try despite the defending of Luke Romano and Sam Whitelock. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho


As Ireland continue to count the cost of yesterday’s heartbreaking defeat to New Zealand, Rory Best is facing a race against time to be fit for the start of the Six Nations due to the broken arm he sustained at the Aviva Stadium.

The Ulster hooker, who continued to throw himself into the fray even after fracturing the radius bone in his right arm, was due to visit a specialist today to determine just how serious the injury is and ascertain whether he will need surgery.

However, with even uncomplicated breaks requiring a period of at least six to eight weeks to heal, Best is almost certain to miss Ulster’s crucial Heineken Cup pool games in December and January.

And he must also be considered a major doubt for Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 2nd. Paul O’Connell sustained a similar injury during the Lions tour of Australia during the summer and was not back in action for three months.

Brian O’Driscoll, meanwhile, is unlikely to feature for Leinster this weekend after failing to complete yet another game, the former skipper helped off with concussion just before the hour mark, while a host of other players shipped heavy knocks and will be assessed by their provinces this week.

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