Joe Schmidt On Why Captain Rory Best Doesn’t Sing The National Anthem

Rory Best has transformed himself into one hell of a captain.

The Ulster hooker was tasked with taking up the mantle left behind by the legendary Paul O’Connell and he’s succeeded in doing so. Under Best’s leadership Ireland secured their first win over the All Blacks as part of a historic southern hemisphere treble over the traditional mega powers.

Best however has been criticised in the past for not singing either of the anthems before games, but it seems he has a really interesting and understandable reason for not doing so.

Speaking ahead of Ireland’s clash with Wales on Friday, Ireland boss Joe Schmidt said:

“I think by the time you get that close to the game Jamie Heaslip, Bestie, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray, experienced guys like Rob Kearney at the back, Keith Earls, they have all been here before, they seem to have a pretty good idea of what level they need to get to here and that influences the players around them.
“Rory is a really good example. He said he doesn’t sing the anthems because he knows it would, emotionally, heighten his emotions, probably beyond the level he feels is best for him to be in control.
“He kinda self-regulates and in the end most players self-regulate really well, so you just don’t want to get in their way, they are experienced athletes and they also have a ripple effect on the team so you let them ripple in. They are calm, concentrated, highly-motivated in their demeanour, you hope that the ripples through.”

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