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Best and co doing it for Ireland

Guinness PRO12 Editor

12 Jan 2012

Rory Best insists he and his Ulster teammates will be fighting for the whole of Ireland when they face off against Leicester in the Heineken Cup.

The hooker welcomes the Tigers to Ravenhill on Friday night looking to avenge a disappointing 20-9 defeat in the reverse fixture back in November.

But if that wasn’t enough motivation then the fact that Best will once again go toe-to-toe with the likes of England internationals Toby Flood, Ben Youngs, George Chuter, Dan Cole, Tom Croft and Louis Deacon, all of whom helped pip his Ireland side to RBS 6 Nations glory last year, surely is.

And with the two nations doing it all over again next month, Best is looking to land an early blow and hand Ulster a famous Tigers mauling.

"Everyone is putting in that little bit extra, whether they are likely to be in the starting XV, on the bench, or not involved in the matchday squad at all,” he said.

"There is always a bit of extra incentive when an Irish province faces an English Premiership club, especially when the Leicester squad includes so many of the players who were part of England's Six Nations success last year.

"To beat them would be massive but they are a good defensive side and we can't afford to give the ball away cheaply.

"It all comes down to tight margins in Europe and we have to do to them what they did to us over there by denying them a bonus point on our own patch.

"We have notched up 10 points from our last two games in the RaboDirect PRO12 so confidence is high and we believe we have the players who can handle big games against quality opposition.

"The match is sold out and you can't underestimate the big part the crowd have to play.

"There is an extra thrill in performing in front of your home fans and they will provide a massive boost for us."