Final Chapter

Ireland captain Rory Best to retire from rugby after the World Cup

The 36-year-old will hope to go out in style in Japan later this year.

ULSTER AND IRELAND captain Rory Best has confirmed that he will retire from rugby after this year’s World Cup.

Best, who turns 37 in August, will hope to end a glittering 15-season career in style by helping Ireland to success in Japan.

Rory Best after the game Best's Ulster career will conclude at the end of this season. Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

The Banbridge RFC man made his Ulster debut in 2004 and has played 219 times for his native province so far, while racking up 116 Ireland caps  – more than any other Ulster player.

Ireland captain since 2016, Best has led the team to a Grand Slam success, as well as two wins over the All Blacks, a first-ever victory against the Springboks on South African soil, and a series win over the Wallabies in Australia.

“It is with mixed feelings that I announce my retirement from Ulster Rugby as of the end of this season,” said Best.

“This feels like the right time for me to go out on my terms, a luxury for which I feel very privileged.

“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 a massive high, playing at the top of my game. 

“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. 

“I grew up supporting Ulster Rugby, have been fortunate to play and captain Ulster Rugby, and now look forward to supporting Ulster Rugby in the future with my family.”

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