Former Ireland Skipper Rory Best Names Two Leading Candidates To Captain Ireland Long-Term

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

Captain.

Former Ireland skipper Rory Best reckons there are two men in the running to captain Ireland in the long-term as the build to France 2023.

Johnny Sexton is Ireland’s current captain but given his age, many have called for head coach Andy Farrell to start planning ahead and appoint a new, permanent captain to lead them through the rest of the current cycle.

Leinster second-row James Ryan will lead Ireland for the first time this weekend in Sexton’s absence with many people seeing him as the answer.

But speaking on the BBC Radio 5 Live Rugby Union Weekly Podcast, Best reckons both Ryan and Leinster centre Garry Ringrose should be seriously considered.

“I think the long-term captain is James Ryan or Garry Ringrose,” Best said.

“I don’t necessarily know that [Andy Farrell] would be nailing his colours to the mast to say ‘this is my long-term captain’.

“I think it’ll be a nod to James to say that they need him to step up and be more than just a leader by example, which he does incredibly well for such a young man. They need him to be that leader but also to take more responsibility throughout the game.

“I’d be really excited about James. He’s somebody that everyone likes. He’s a wee bit strange with some of his habits. He’s really likeable. For me, that would be one of the top things that I would look for if I was playing in a team, that you like the captain and you want to play for the captain.”