6 Dec, 10:47
Ireland will take on South Africa, Australia and a leading European Tier 2 nation at the Aviva Stadium during the GUINNESS Series in November 2014.
Neil Best will pull on an Ulster shirt tonight for the first time since May, and following his 10-week conditioning break, the fiery flanker is feeling as good as ever.
The 27-year-old was one of the successes of Ireland's summer tour Down Under - he started all three Test matches against New Zealand (2) and Australia and even managed a try in the defeat to the Wallabies.
Best and centre-cum-winger Andrew Trimble, who has earned starts in Ireland's last six games, are the last of Eddie O'Sullivan's international squad to slot back into the Ulster line-up. Both have been selected for tonight's derby duel with Munster, with Trimble on the wing (Musgrave Park, kick-off 7.30pm).
The duo certainly built on their growing reputations during the summer and now Best is hoping to take that form into the Magners League.
He said of tour exploits: "It was nice to get away and experience playing in hostile conditions and a differeny culture. It was also a chance to get an All Blacks jersey! I played five minutes against them last November and three of my five caps have come against New Zealand - not many players can say that!"
The Belfast Harlequins forward wants to hit the ground running in Cork, having watched Ulster negotiate their way to the upper reaches of the table over the past four weeks.
"It's good to be back playing as I have been training most days and I've had the opportunity to get fit. I've been running, doing weights and I feel as sharp as I've been in a few years.
"But you're only as good as your last game and I haven't played in ten weeks - the onus is on me to play consistently well and get picked for Ulster's European games next month."
And what better way to do that than to take on the reigning Heineken Cup champions on their home patch.
Best added: "It's going to be a massive game and a massive challenge for us. It's a Magners League game, a kinda trial game and since they won the Heineken Cup it's a chance to play against the best players in Europe.
"We've a good recent record against Munster - we beat them twice last season - and hopefully we can maintain it.
"Munster will be really up for it, they'll have all their internationals back and the contest in the back row is one I'm really looking forward to. We've got strength in depth there with Stephen (Ferris), Kieron (Dawson), Neil (McMillan), Roger (Wilson) and myself, and Mark (McCall) could use any combination.
"Munster have Alan Quinlan, David Wallace, Anthony Foley and Mick O'Driscoll so they have a very good back row unit and it's going to be a great match to play in."