Rory Best will retire after the upcoming World Cup in Japan. The 36 year old Ulster and Ireland captain says “it feels like the right time” to end a stellar career. Ulster’s most capped international, Best has made 116 appearances in the green shirt, scoring 10 tries. He helped Ireland win the Grand Slam twice and the Six Nations Championship on four occasions.
Appointed Irish skipper in 2016, the Armagh man led the team to historic wins over New Zealand in Chicago and Dublin and an all time high of second in the world rankings.
He was also member of the 2013 and 2017 British & Irish Lions squad to tour Australia and New Zealand.
Best had already announced his decision to quit test rugby later this year. His IRFU contract comes to an end after the World Cup. He was considering signing up for a 16th season with his Province, but has opted to hang up his boots.
“It is with mixed feelings that I announce my retirement from Ulster Rugby at of the end of this season,” said Best in a statement.
“This feels like the right time for me to go out on my terms, a luxury for which I feel very privileged.
“In my 15 years at this brilliant club, I have been lucky to have met, played alongside, been coached by and supported by many great people, and I would like to thank every individual for the time they have invested in me since 2004."
Best is currently sidelined by an ankle injury. He is facing a six week absence, having been hurt during the Champions Cup quarter-final defeat to Leinster. With Ulster on course to make the Pro 14 play-offs in mid-May, he hopes he still has plenty of rugby to play.
“I am very excited for the end of the season with Ulster Rugby and for the upcoming World Cup with Ireland, both of which I hope to finish with on a massive high, playing at the top of my game."