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Ireland rugby hero Rory Best enjoying country life during cornavirus lockdown

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Rory Best, wife Jody and their children Poppy and Jodie

Rory Best, wife Jody and their children Poppy and Jodie

�INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Rory Best, wife Jody and their children Poppy and Jodie

Ireland and Ulster rugby hero Rory Best is settling into a new life in lockdown, as he and his family enjoy life back on the farm.

Best (37) was raised on his family farm near Poyntzpass, Co Armagh.

He retired from playing after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The former Ireland captain spoke to the Sunday Independent newspaper yesterday about life after the Lions - and his return to the farm.

"We're all in pursuit of a purpose in some shape or form, especially when you recently retire from rugby," he said."

"That purpose was very much the match and the training.

"And when you retire, there is a massive void to try to fill.

"I don't think you ever fill that very quickly," Best told the newspaper.

"It's the purpose of 'what am I going to be?' I am no longer Rory Best, the rugby player."

Rory who studied agriculture while attending Newcastle University - enjoys his new agricultural lifestyle.

"You know, it's a nice routine," he says.

"You get up in the morning. You go out to the cattle.

"It is this time of year where we're calving the cows and we're trying to get everything out into the field.

"It's a lovely feeling - to drop the cattle out of the trailer and they have spent the winter in sheds, confined.

"You give them these open spaces and you watch them take off. There is something very satisfying about that.

"So, there are a lot of rewarding times and the weather has helped."

At the start of the Covid-19 crisis, his middle brother Mark and sister Rebecca both returned from London to the family home in Co Armagh.

"That meant mum and dad and them were staying together," Best said.

"They self-isolated for two weeks. So, then dad wasn't really allowed out. I took over doing all the farm work and tried to fill that to get that done."

For Rory and Jody, his wife of 11 years, the lockdown life has opened up a wealth of new opportunities to enjoy life with their children.

"I raised the flowerbeds from some wooden sleepers we had at home," Rory said.

"We had fun as a family planting those.

"I think, in this crazy world, you don't ever think you have time to do these simple things.

"When you put it into perspective and you put it into that context, I think we just have to get on with it.

"We know what is happening.

"We know it is for the best, to stay at home and to stay isolated and remain positive.

"Otherwise, you'll send yourself mad."

Belfast Telegraph