Ulster Rugby announced today that Ulster and Ireland Hooker Rory Best has been named as Ulster Captain for the 2007-08 season, with his brother Simon named as his Vice Captain.
Rory, who has been an ever-present member of the Ulster squad since his debut against Munster in November 2004, firmly established himself on the international rugby scene last season winning eight Irish caps and was the only Ulsterman to start all of Ireland’s Six Nation’s matches.
His performances on the pitch for Ulster last season and the work he carried out off it to help foster and develop the game in Ulster saw him named as the Guinness Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year last season.
Rory will be taking over the captaincy from his brother Simon, who has been named as Vice Captain for 2007-08, and there’s little doubt in the mind of Ulster Coach Mark McCall that the brothers will make an excellent team; “This season sees some degree of change for Ulster Rugby with a new Assistant Coach in Steve Williams, a Team Manager in David Millar and now the appointment of Rory Best as Team Captain. Simon has done an outstanding job in the role over the past two seasons and he will provide Rory with invaluable advice and guidance, particularly as he settles into the role.”
“That said Rory is his own man, and a natural successor – he has matured tremendously as a player over the past couple of the seasons and is a hugely respected and popular member of the squad and I’ve no doubt that his experiences at international level will stand him in good stead for his role as captain this coming season.”
Rory who is delighted to be named as Captain said; “This is a tremendous honour for me, I’m delighted to accept the position. It’s nice to know that I’ve got Simon watching my back, he’s put a tremendous amount of time and effort into the job over the past two seasons and both he and the rest of the family are delighted for me.”
Simon Best said this of the announcement ” It has been a privilege to captain Ulster over the past two seasons and I am very much looking forward to supporting Rory in his new role. I have no doubt he will do a tremendous job and lead the squad well to a successful season”