Irish boost as Best is passed fit

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Ireland will enter their World Cup quarter-final against Wales with Rory Best at hooker after the Ulster front row won his injury battle.

Best has received intensive treatment on the shoulder problem sustained against Italy last Sunday and will start tomorrow’s clash at Wellington Regional Stadium.

“Rory’s come up great and is fine to start the game,” said defence coach Les Kiss. “We obviously had some precautions in place ready to cover him if he failed to pull through, but he’s in tip-top shape so full credit to him and the medics.”

Ireland, unbeaten throughout the World Cup, are rated marginal favourites to win. Both sides have been in superb form and if the weather holds – some rain is expected – it promises to be a gripping encounter between the RBS 6 Nations rivals.

“This game is absolutely massive for both teams,” said Kiss. “We want to reach a place we’ve never been before. We’ve played each other so much that it’s fair to say it’s 50-50.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the South Africa and Australia quarter-final being the game of the round, but watch this game.