Monday 14 October 2019

Best refuses to rule out possibility of playing on with Ulster after the World Cup


Rory Best. Photo: Sportsfile
Rory Best. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Rory Best has left the door open on the possibility of playing on with Ulster after the World Cup, at which point the Ireland captain will bring the curtain down on his international career.

The 36-year-old, who turns 37 in August, admitted that he has not yet made a decision on his club future as he cited the demands of international rugby as the reason for calling it a day as soon as his contract with the IRFU expires later this year.

Best is due to sit down with the Ulster chiefs before making a final call, but he didn't rule out playing with the northern province for a 16th year.

"I think it was the right time with Ireland - the World Cup was a really good goal for me internationally," Best said ahead of Ulster's Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster, for which Iain Henderson is pushing to return from a knee injury.

"It takes you away for a lot of the time, international rugby. It's not just the games, it's the preparation and everything that goes with it.

"In terms of Ulster, we haven't had the conversation, I wanted to get back here and get settled in again and just see how things are going.

"I'll have the conversation with Dan (McFarland) and Bryn (Cunningham) and see what everyone wants to do. It's not something I've thought much about.

"Because the contract was up to the World Cup, I thought it was the right time to answer the question on that but I'm not even sure on that (Ulster) myself.

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"When I do retire, I'd love to go out and lift a trophy. If I go and see them lift a trophy - I'd be severely p****d off, if it was fairly soon - but you can still feel that you were part of a turning point."

Meanwhile, Munster have been handed a major boost as Joey Carbery has signed a contract extension that will see the out-half remain at the club until at least June 2022.

Former All Blacks scrum-half Alby Mathewson has also extended his stay with the province until the end of November.

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