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Best: Nevin’s Memory Will Continue To Shape Ulster Rugby

Best: Nevin’s Memory Will Continue To Shape Ulster Rugby

Rory Best paid tribute to his late team-mate and friend Nevin Spence at Sunday’s memorial service at Ravenhill. More than 5,000 people turned up to pay their respects, including members of the four provincial squads.

Having passed away over a week ago, with his father Noel and brother Graham, the service gave those from the rugby community in Ulster and throughout Ireland the chance to pay their respects to Nevin Spence and his family.

Speaking about the young centre, Rory Best told the assembled audience: “His relentlessly positive attitude displayed during tough times is a testament not only to his upbringing but to the man himself.

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“Nevin was a team player – the sort of player that every team needs but few are lucky enough to truly find. Nev has left Ulster Rugby in a much better place than when he found it. As a player, a colleague and as a friend, his memory will continue to shape Ulster Rugby for years to come.”

The Ireland hooker also sharing some memories of Nevin off the pitch, saying: “The mark that ‘Nev’ left in the squad runs deeper than just rugby. I am going to finish with the fond memories we have of ‘Nev’ as a person.

“It was in the physio room that Nev would give the boys tips on their love life. ‘It’s quite simple’, he would say, ‘all you need is a girl that looks like Cindy Crawford and is able to calve a cow in the middle of the night’.

“If you ask any of the rugby players for their fondest memories of Nev they will all say, some sarcastically, ‘his sense of humour’. Nev would tell a ridiculous joke and would be beaming from ear to ear!”

Referring to the loss of the three Spence men, Ulster Rugby chaplain, Reverend Andrew Thompson, told the crowd: “We often delight in singing ‘Stand Up for the Ulstermen’. Today we come in pain and sorrow to stand up for the proud Ulster man – or rather three.”