Saturday’s Game Against Wales Will Be A Very Special Day For One Of Ireland’s Greatest Servants

End of an era.

This weekend’s warm-up clash between Ireland and Wales is set to be a very special one with Rory Best set to lead out men in green at the Aviva Stadium for the very last time before he hangs up his boots after the Rugby World Cup.

The Ulster hooker will go down as Ireland’s most successful captain, leading them to multiple Six Nations titles, a Grand Slam, as well as their first (and second) ever,  win over the mighty All Blacks.

But his firm focus is on the game this weekend, with both countries fielding near full-strength teams for the clash as they look to head to Japan with a big win under their belts. But Best admits it will probably hit home after the game when he realises he has played his last match for Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

“It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought about,” Best said this afternoon

“It wasn’t until I walked off the pitch today and there’s always a few of the same faces that greet us coming off the training pitch. There was one woman in tears, she was saying, ‘It’s the last time you’ll walk off the Carton House pitch’.”

“I hadn’t given that any thought. For me, it’s about focusing on the next game. After the game, the realisation that it’s the last one at the Aviva will hit home. It will be a big occasion when I look back upon it and my family will feel it more than I do in the build-up.”

A fantastic servant for Irish Rugby, but his job isn’t done yet. First up it’s Wales and then onto the World Cup.