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Best and Bowe back for Ulster's clash with Ospreys

Credit: Pacemaker

Ireland captain Rory Best makes his first start of the season for Ulster, as first meets third in the Pro12 at the Kingspan.

Les Kiss makes eight changes to the team that triumphed over Glasgow at Scotstoun, as he looks to utilise his squad's strength going into a packed period of five games in four weeks.

Tommy Bowe is on the bench and could make his first appearance in five months against his former team, following his layoff with a knee injury.

Craig Gilroy is fit again and starts, while Charles Piutau reverts to fullback.

Injuries to Stuart McCloskey, Stuart Olding and Luke Marshall mean Jared Payne will start in midfield, alongside Darren Cave, who put in an impressive try-scoring performance against Glasgow.

Paul Marshall is given the nod over Ruan Pienaar at scrum half.

Ospreys, beaten last week by Leinster, make six changes.

Dan Evans returns at fullback and Bradley Davies joins international teammate Alun Wyn Jones in the second row, while Dan Baker plays at number eight.

Nicky Smith gets his 50th cap at loose-head prop, coming in for Paul James.

Ulster will be hoping to maintain their winning start to the Pro12 season, but face a tough task against the Ospreys, by a margin the league's most prolific points scorers. Just two points separates the sides.

Ulster: C Piutau, C Gilroy, J Payne, D Cave, L Ludik, P Jackson, P Marshall; : K McCall, R Best, R Ah You, A O'Connor, F van der Merwe (capt), I Henderson, S Reidy, R Wilson.

Replacements: J Andrew, C Black, R Kane, K Treadwell, R Diack, R Pienaar, B Herron, T Bowe.

Ospreys: D Evans, J Hassler, B John, J Matavesi, E Walker, D Biggar, R Webb; N Smith, S Parry, D Arhip, B Davies, A Wyn Jones (capt), J King, J Tipuric, D Baker.

Replacements: S Baldwin, P James, M Fia, R Thornton, O Cracknell, T Ardron, T Habberfield.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

McIlroy congratulates heckler who beat Team Europe to $100 putt

Rory McIlroy has had to join his European teammates in congratulating an American heckler who was challenged to make a putt during a Ryder Cup practice session – and won $100 from Justin Rose.

Rory McIlroy shakes hands with Team Europe's nemesis. Credit: PA

Team Europe’s Rose and McIlroy, plus Henrik Stenson and Andy Sullivan, were struggling to make the shot when a voice from the crowd shouted: “I could have made that!”

The heckler hugs Justin Rose after winning $100 off him. Credit: PA

They invited the spectator to try, and Rose put a $100 bill on the line as added incentive. And, to roars of approval from the rest of the crowd, the heckler pulled off a perfect shot.

The rogue voice from the crowd celebrates in style. Credit: PA

As he celebrated in style, even Team Europe had to give credit where it was due, laughing as they hugged the delighted fan.

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Gary Haveron unveiled as Glens boss

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Glentoran have named former Carrick Rangers boss Gary Haveron as their new manager.

The Glens have been without a full-time coach since Alan Kernaghan resigned on the back of slow start to the season and an embarrassing league cup defeat by Annagh United.

Kernaghan left Carrick in May, having guided them to Premiership safety.

He faces a tough first match in charge, as Belfast rivals Linfield will visit the Oval on Saturday.


NI to face Croatia in November friendly

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Northern Ireland's final match of the year will be a friendly against Croatia at Windsor Park in November.

The match against a side currently ranked 14th in the world will round off an historic year that saw Michael O'Neill's side reach the last 16 of the country's first ever European Championship finals in France.

They arrived at the tournament on the back of a record 12-match unbeaten sequence.

Next week San Marino are in town for the first international hosted at the fully-refurbished Windsor Park.

Northern Ireland then travel to Germany for the second half of a World Cup qualifying double header prior to the visit of Azerbaijan to Belfast in November.

The Irish Football Association has confirmed a clash with the Croats on Tuesday, November 15 - four days after hosting Azerbaijan - has now been added to their schedule.

"This will be a great game for us," said O'Neill. "Croatia are a top-class European team and it's great that we will be playing them at home.

"We have not played a home friendly against this quality of opposition for quite some time. It will no doubt be a real test for us and it will also provide us with an opportunity to look at some of the players in our squad who have not featured in the team much before now."

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