British & Irish Lion Rory Best is determined to prove his form in time for Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, having recovered from a broken arm.
The Ulster hooker, who made four appearances for the Lions in Australia this summer, suffered the injury in Ireland’s heartbreaking 24-22 defeat to New Zealand in the autumn but he was back in action on European Cup duty against Montpellier last weekend.
Best is now set to face Leicester Tigers this weekend with a place at the top of pool five up for grabs for the winner – and the 31-year-old hopes he can prove to Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt there are no signs of rustiness.
"During the game on Friday it was fine, that was probably as nervous as I've been in an Ulster game for a while,” he said.
"But as the game went on I felt more and more comfortable, taking the hits and getting stuck in and that side of things.
"So I was very happy, it felt fine over the weekend and I was always pencilled in just for another X-ray on Monday just to make sure everything was where it should be and that nothing has slipped or moved, and that went well too.
"[Leicester and Montpellier are] two of the best teams in Europe, so if I can get through [both of] those, I played 70 minutes at the weekend and if I can something similar this weekend, then you go into the Six Nations and actually trying to build some form from those two games.
“But also you go in off the back of those real physical challenges in Europe, so your body's actually fairly well prepared hopefully.”