Best to miss entire season through injury


Ulster’s preparations for the new season were dealt a severe blow today with the news that Rory Best will miss the entire season with a neck injury. The Ulster captain requires surgery on a chronic disc problem.

Following an operation, Best will need between nine and 12 months recovery and has been ruled out of action until the start of the 2010-11 season.

“Obviously losing Rory at the start of the season is a huge blow for us,” said David Humphreys, Ulster’s operations director.

“Not only is he our number one hooker but also our captain and one of the most experienced players in the squad. However, what is most important is Rory’s long term health and welfare and there’s no reason not to expect him to return fully to rugby, post surgery and rehabilitation, next season.”

Best’s absence leaves the province in the market for a new hooker before their season kicks off on September 6th.

“The timing of this injury presents difficulties,” Humphreys admitted, “as most players are contracted for the 2009-10 season.

“While we strengthened our hooking options this summer with the signing of Andy Kyriacou, we are working at present to find a replacement for Rory within world rugby.”