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'They're calling me sir' - Rory Best on his OBE award

The Ulster and Ireland star will captain the Lions this Tuesday against the Chiefs.

Rory Best (file pic).
Rory Best (file pic).
Image: Brian Lawless

Updated at 13.22

IRELAND STAR RORY Best has expressed pride and described his team-mates’ reactions after it was announced that the hooker had been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) – an honour awarded for his services to rugby.

The 34-year-old, who will captain the British and Irish Lions against the Chiefs on Tuesday, says his colleagues treated the news with a mixture of humour and sincerity.

“Gats announced it in the team and of course they made me get up and say a few words,” Best said.

They all congratulated me and we went out for a bit of a dinner together, so they’re now calling me sir as well. Joe Marler won’t let me carry my kit bag. He’s carrying for it me.

“It’s all good fun but I think there was a lot of sincere congratulations as well, which is nice when you’re surrounded by the best players and they’re coming up and giving you congratulations. It means a lot.”

Best reflected on what he sees as a positive past year in his career, while adding that he will be hopeful that Tuesday’s encounter goes better than a previous instance where he captained the Lions to a 14-12 loss against the ATC Brumbies in 2013.

It’s been great 12 months I suppose, although you always want a bit more.

“The last time I captained the Lions it didn’t go perfectly for us, but I’ll personally be looking to set that record straight on Tuesday.

I think when you look at our team we’re more than capable of it. We’re used to playing with each other and like I say, you always want a little bit more. So we’ll want that win on Tuesday, and ultimately we want to win a test series. Whoever is lucky enough to take the field in those tests, they’re very fortunate, but it’s our job as well to make sure that everyone else is rallying around that and the same for the game on Tuesday.

“The guys that played on Saturday will roll up their sleeves and help us prepare for Tuesday, and depending on what happens at the end of the week, the opposite will happen.”

Best is consequently hopeful he can help guide the side to a win to boost morale ahead of the vital tests.

It’s the next game on the tour and we have a chance to build momentum into the weekend and next week, but we are getting excited about playing for the Lions against a top side.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play here a few times with Ireland and it’s a top ground, it’s a fantastic pitch and great atmosphere. To pull on that Lions jersey and take on the Chiefs is a prospect that we’ve got to get excited about.”

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