The IRFU are pleased to announce that Ulster and Ireland captain Rory Best has signed a contract extension to the end of the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.
Rory Best, who took over the Ireland captaincy before the 2016 Six Nations Championship, has won 111 caps for his country, making him Ireland’s third most-capped player of all-time behind his former team-mates Ronan O’Gara and Brian O’Driscoll.
Under Best’s stewardship, Ireland recorded their first win over the Springboks on South African soil as well as recording a first ever victory over New Zealand in Chicago in November 2016.
Last weekend the Ulster hooker, who turns 36 in August, secured his fourth Six Nations title and second Grand Slam success having played in the successful 2009, 2014, 2015 and 2018 Championship campaigns.
He made his international debut against New Zealand in November 2005 and has scored nine tries to date. He toured with the British & Irish Lions in both 2013 and 2017. Best made his senior debut for Ulster against Munster in November 2004 and has represented his province 204 times, scoring 21 tries.
IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora commented: “Rory has been an outstanding leader for Ireland and continues to produce stand-out performances at the highest level of the game. He is an important member of the Ireland leadership group and we are delighted that he will continue to play a central role in Irish Rugby.”
Commenting on his new contract, Best said: “I am in a very privileged position as captain of Ireland and Ulster to be involved with two groups of incredibly talented players. I feel I can continue to make a contribution to both Ireland and Ulster Rugby and I’m delighted to have extended my IRFU contract to the next World Cup.
“Support of family, friends and supporters is a hugely important element for any professional sportsperson and I would like to thank everyone for their support but specifically my wife Jodie, who has been incredible and has ensured that as a family we have been able to share in all the great memories of the last few years.”