Ireland and Ulster captain Rory Best announced his upcoming retirement from rugby after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
At 36, Best boasts of 117 Test caps since making his debut in 2005, ranking third in the country.
The hooker has also helped Ireland to win two Grand Slams and three Six Nations titles. That includes the 2018 Grand Slam held in France.
Rory has spent the whole of his senior career playing for the Ulster squad, making 219 appearances since he joined them in 2004.
The hooker became the captain of the Ulster side in 2007 and went ahead to succeed Paul O’Connell as the captain of Ireland in 2013.
Best revealed that his retirement invoked mixed reactions in him, though he feels it’s the right time for him to retire from his duties in the field.
The Irish player has appeared for three World Cups and has been selected twice for the Irish and British Lions despite having not played a Test.
The captain had a prolific year in 2018, with the win over New Zealand in November marking a great end for Irish rugby.
Nonetheless, Joe Schmidt’s side was bitterly disappointed at the 2019 Six Nations games after falling to heavy defeats by rugby powerhouses Wales and England.
In his 15-year career with the Ulster, Best has been lucky to play alongside some of the world’s best rugby stars and coached by great people.
Best said he’s grateful for the time they invested in his career for more than a decade. In his statement, he also revealed that it was a pleasure to serve as the captain of a team he grew up supporting.
Best is currently out of the pitch due to an ankle injury that he suffered last month while playing against Leinster.
It’s unclear whether he’ll be playing for the Ulster squad before the end of the season, though he revealed that he is going to continue supporting the Ulster with his family.
Best’s retirement comes at a time when Betway’s rugby offerings continue to with local and international matches featured. Those who wager at Betway also stand a chance to win prizes in free bets and generous odds.
Following Best’s retirement news, Bryn Cunningham (Ulster’s Operation director) said the outgoing captain would be remembered as a great legend in both the Ulster and Irish rugby.
Rory has been a leader that the players turn to for direction and leadership, making him an all-encompassing talismanic player for over a decade. His ability to stay at the top and fight his way through difficulties also reveals the strength of his character.
The Ulstermen suffered a horrifying defeat to the Glasgow Warriors last weekend after being beaten 50-20 in Scotstoun. Dan McFarland’s side was outclassed after conceding seven tries, though Best wasn’t on the starting lineup.
The outgoing player was on the list as a replacement, showing no sign of featuring in any other game before his upcoming retirement. Nonetheless, Rory Best will continue being an inspiration to many players in Ireland.