It's our Best chance ever for World Cup glory
Ulster ace Rory reveals his strong belief in Ireland World Cup hopes
Rory Best goes into his third Rugby World Cup this week, firmly believing Ireland have a genuine chance of glory.
Ulster hooker Best (33) maintains collective lessons have been learned from his past two tournaments; the flop of France 2007 and the quarter-final exit to Wales in New Zealand four years ago.
Those experiences, he believes, will benefit the 2015 squad, and himself personally, as they approach Saturday's opening pool game against Canada in Cardiff.
In a wide-ranging, insightful interview in today's Belfast Telegraph, Best openly acknowledges the mistakes of the past.
He says that in France 2007, Ireland struggled on and off the pitch and went into the subsequent tournament failure 'wrapped in cotton wool'.
He describes the disappointment of losing in New Zealand in 2011 as "one of the big regrets I have as an Irish player". But he insists Ireland are better prepared under coach Joe Schmidt to live up to their 2015 expectations in England and Wales over the next seven weeks.
"This year there are five or six teams that all feel they've a chance of lifting it and I don't see why Ireland can't be one of those," he stressed.