Friday 22 June 2018

Portugal POR 1

Morocco MAR 0

REPORT

Uruguay URY 1

Saudi Arabia SAU 0

REPORT

Iran IRN 0

Spain ESP 1

REPORT

Denmark DNK 1

Australia AUS 1

REPORT

France FRA 1

Peru PER 0

REPORT

Argentina ARG 0

Croatia CRO 3

REPORT

Brazil BRA 2

Costa Rica CRI 0

REPORT

Nigeria NGA 2

Iceland ISL 0

Full Time

Serbia SRB

Switzerland SUI

Belgium BEL

Tunisia TUN

South Korea KOR

Mexico MEX

Germany GER

Sweden SWE

England ENG

Panama PAN

Japan JPN

Senegal SEN

Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Rory Best: Long-term decision on Ireland captaincy will be made at the end of this season

Rory Best during a press conference at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Rory Best during a press conference at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Rory Best says a decision on his long-term captaincy will be made at the end of this season, but the Ulsterman is determined to enjoy the leadership role for as long as he has it.

The 35-year-old is in his third season as skipper after taking over from Paul O'Connell in 2016, but doubts have been raised about his capacity to hold on to the job for the World Cup in Japan in 2019.

The experienced hooker will be 37 by then, but he is concentrating on the here and now after overcoming his hamstring issue that ruled him out of the early part of the season.

"To be fair to Joe, there's not many back doors," he said after leading his side through their Captain's Run at the Aviva Stadium this morning.

"If he was looking to change, he would have made the change.

"He said early enough in one of the summer camps that as long as I'd be happy to continue I'd be captain again and  we'd reassess at the end of the season depending on where we were and how we felt and what was going on etc etc..

"So I suppose that's something for the end of season. But it was nice to be asked again. I think when you're in that position and captaining the country you never like to assume anything, so it was good when Joe said: 'we'd like you to do it again for this season' it gave me the confidence that he liked what I was doing, I was doing a good job.

"Ultimately when you're asked to captain a side, one of the hardest things is to keep sticking to what you're doing.

"You feel you need to do something different. I suppose over the last couple of years, I've learnt that and i feel a lot more comfortable in that role.

"I enjoy doing it and it was good to be asked to do it again."

Tomorrow's clash with South Africa is front and centre of Best's mind and he is fully aware that the two sides could come face to face in two years' time in a World Cup quarter-final.

"As a captain, get through this block and then get through the Six Nations and we'll reassess," he said.

"A side of the quality of South Africa and - if you want to talk about World Cups - a side you could potentially meet in the World Cup. It's important for us to gel, gel quickly and to put in a performance in what's going to be a massive test.

"Looking further afield would be foolish for us when there's so much quality coming to the Aviva."

Best is expecting a tough encounter against an improving Springbok team.

"I think it's a good South Africa team, it definitely is.

“They've come a long way from the team we played a year ago last June.

"If you think of vintage South Africa teams and these big forwards getting them across the gainline and a big-kicking out-half.

“These guys have those forwards and an out-half that can kick but they have a lot more as well. The depth they play at and the offloads, that makes them a real handful.

"It'll be a really good test for our defence. So from that side of things, they've pulled together a lot of the perceived old strengths and put an extra dimension on it."

Ireland reported a clean bill of health from this morning's Captain's Run.

left pod.jpg

Subscribe to The Left Wing, Independent.ie's Rugby podcast, with Luke Fitzgerald and Will Slattery for the best discussion and analysis each week. From in depth interviews with some of Irish rugby's biggest stars to unmatched insights into the provinces and the national team, The Left Wing has all your rugby needs covered.

Listen and subscribe to The Left Wing on iTunes and Soundcloud

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport