Ulster hooker Rory Best believes enforced breaks from the IRFU ensures his province is seeing the best of him in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season.
Best has been used sporadically by Ulster since his return from the rugby World Cup and sat out the defeat to Glasgow last month before returning to inspire victory over the Scarlets last time out.
As Best admits, it’s not an ideal situation for Ulster – who also intermittently lose the services of Stephen Ferris – but with a crucial Heineken Cup double header against Aironi looming large, the 29-year-old believes he’s making a bigger impact in shorter bursts.
“Having two Heineken Cup matches in a row is quite good because it gives you a bit of a break after those big games.
“That’s where Ulster and the IRFU have been very good to the likes of me and Stephen (Ferris). The enforced rest takes the decision out of our hands.
“Obviously it’s not ideal for Ulster that we miss a RaboDirect PRO12 match but hopefully it means that when the really big games come towards the end of this pool — and hopefully a quarter-final — we’ll be fresher as a result of the way things have been handled.
“I’ve been delighted to continue my World Cup form since I got home. But a run of three, four, five, six good games will mean nothing if I don’t keep it going and follow it through.”