Bristol Rugby ready to welcome back Mike Tagicakibau for key Belfast trip
MIKE Tagicakibau is ready to return from injury for Bristol's crucial British & Irish Cup clash with Ulster Ravens in Belfast on Friday.
The Fiji winger has not featured since his team beat London Scottish November 30 but has now recovered fully from a niggling problem at the back of his knee.
Bristol and Ulster are separated by one point in Pool One of the British & Irish Cup with two matches – including Friday's head-to-head at Deramore Park – to play.
And head coach Liam Middleton will be boosted by the return of Tagicakibau, who has been one of his team's best players so far this season.
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"Mike is back fit this week, so he will definitely be starting on Friday and he is looking really sharp," said Middleton.
"So the decision to pull him out for four weeks was probably the right one, although we missed him."
Bristol, meanwhile, expect prop Jason Hobson to be available for Friday's game as they are still to hear from the Rugby Football Union regarding a date for his appeal against a 12-week ban for biting.
"I would be disappointed if we hadn't heard by Wednesday what the date is going to be," said Middleton. "But the appeal is not going to be heard this week, so he can play."