'I'll try not to get too emotional' - Rory Best speaks ahead of his final Six Nations appearance
Ireland captain Rory Best will make his final Six Nations appearance tomorrow but he is determined that his lap of honour will be one taken in victory as Joe Schmidt's side seek to spoil Welsh Grand Slam hopes, as well as keeping their own slim title chances alive.
It's incredibly special for me and my family,” says Best, who last week announced his intention to retire from international rugby after this autumn's World Cup.
“I was old enough to watch the Five Nations and as a family we went down for nearly every home game.
“And then to be incredibly lucky to play in it for so many years. It's a proper traditional, rugby tournament.
“While I will miss the matches, there will be moments like struggling to put a pre-match meal down your neck and having all those nerves running around which I won't miss. It will be nice to enjoy the matches with my family.
“There have been so many highs but also so many lows. My first Six Nations cap was against Wales in 2006. It seems so long ago but it has also gone in a flash.
“Apart from the Aviva, there is nowhere else I'd rather play than here especially when there is something on the line.
“I'll try not to get too emotional. Hopping on the bus, the team anthems, realising that this is the last time you'll ever do any of these things.
“That special atmosphere in the dressing-room when everyone is knackered. Thinking about those moments makes you emotional. But I've dragged the arse out of it for long enough now.
“I wanted to go out on my terms, when I feel I'm playing well and we know we still have something to do later in the year.
“Tomorrow, it will take one of our best performances of the Six Nations, arguably the best performance this group has produced.
“We have produced good performances before but it is so tough to come here against a side on such a winning roll, in this place which is incredibly tough to win anyway.”