It’s been a good few days for Ireland fans. They won the Six Nations, Brian O’Driscoll went out in style, and flanker Stephen Ferris, who has been out with a long injury lay-off, made his return. He marked it with a typically determined and powerful tackle.
Ferris, who missed out on last year’s Lions tour because of the knee injury that kept him out of the game for two seasons, has finally been passed match fit. He made his return for Ulster on Friday night as part of their 26-13 Pro 12 victory over the Scarlets at Ravenhill.
The Ireland flanker hasn’t played since November 2012, but has been working hard to regain fitness, and has all the support of his teammates, who have followed his progress closely.
“We’ve all come in here every morning and he’s been busy a couple of hours already. He’s had to do so much rehab, so many extra sessions and to see him back playing again, we’re all excited,” said star scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, who can be seen putting up the bomb in the clip below.
“We know what a great talent he is and what a brilliant player he’s been for Ulster in the past and to see him back at his best will be great for us as a club and all of Ulster will be excited to see him running onto this pitch again.”
Ferris got the biggest cheer of the night as he came off the bench in the second half. It didn’t take long for him to impose himself, making a great driving tackle on Scarlets back Kristian Phillips.
The contact was a little high so he didn’t smash him to the ground, but he did keep his feet well and get the leg drive going, testing that knee and driving Phillips back a fair few metres in the process.
Paddy Jackson scored two tries, with the other two scored by Tommy Bowe and Tom Court.