Rugby World Cup 2011
Best fit for Wales test
October 7, 2011
Ireland's Rory Best puts his shoulder through its paces. He has been passed fit for tomorrow's World Cup quarter-final © Getty Images
Ireland hooker Rory Best has been passed fit for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium.
Best has been passed fit after receiving 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 the first of the day's two quarter-finals. 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 team. We spoke earlier about what it would be mean to people back home if we won," 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 will be critical pressure moments and it will be a 60-minutes plus game. The last 20 minutes will sort it out. It's a hard one to pick. There's been a lot of talk about the South Africa and Australia quarter being the game of the round, but watch this game.
"It's going to a real ding-dong battle but we're happy with the way our defence has gone. Wales have some interesting threats across the park, which are a little bit different to what Australia offer when we played them in the pool.
"They have a good bunch of guys who are playing good rugby."
No.8 Jamie Heaslip believes Ireland's superior experience of knockout games through the success of Munster and Leinster in the Heineken Cup must be brought to bear. "We have the experience of playing against Wales every year in the Six Nations, but all bets are off in a knockout competition," said Heaslip. "Sometimes it's not the best team that wins, it's the team who knows how to win that succeeds.
"We have to draw on the experience of playing at knockout stages of the Heineken Cup. We've won four of the last six Heineken Cups and it's important to make that experience count. The core of the team are made up of those players."
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