Best played for Ireland Schools and Ireland U19's before he joined Newcastle Falcons and while there he was capped at Under 21 level ('99). he joined Belfast Harlequins on returning home and played for the Ireland A side for the first time in 2001.
Shields captained the Ulster Schools and Ulster U20's and has been a member of the Ulster senior squad for the past four seasons. He made his A debut in Ireland's 55-22 win over Wales in Musgrave Park (Feb 2002).
A player who makes a welcome return to international fare is David Wallace who hasn't worn the Irish shirt since April 2002 after which he underwent surgery to an injured shoulder.
Ireland Replacements. 16 - Paul Shields (Ulster - Ballymena)17 - Simon Best (Ulster - Belfast Harlequins)18 - Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster - Cork Constitution)