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Grand Slam-winning captain Rory Best signs new deal with Ireland and Ulster

Best has signed on until after next year’s World Cup.

Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning captain Rory Best has agreed a contract extension with the Irish Rugby Football Union that will keep him at Ulster until the 2019 World Cup.

Best, who has amassed 111 caps and taken part in two Lions tours, was at the helm for the NatWest 6 Nations clean sweep that was sealed on Saturday by a conclusive 24-15 triumph over England at Twickenham.

The 35-year-old hooker was also part of the 2009 Grand Slam-winning side and, since taking over as skipper two years ago, Ireland have registered their first victory over New Zealand and a maiden Test win against the Springboks in South Africa.

“I am in a very privileged position as captain of Ireland and Ulster to be involved with two groups of incredibly talented players,” Best said.

“I feel I can continue to make a contribution to both Ireland and Ulster and am delighted to have extended my contract to the next World Cup.”

Best made his senior debut for Ulster in 2004 and has gone on to represent the province 204 times, scoring 21 tries, and is in his second spell as captain.

“Rory will go down as one of the most successful Ireland captains in history,” Ulster operations director Bryn Cunningham said.

“To have that sort of leadership and experience in our squad, both on and off the pitch, is critical.”

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