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Homecoming event for former Ulster and Ireland legend Rory Best postponed due to coronavirus

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Mini rugby players Ben Best, Billy Whiteman, Richie Best, Jake Ratcliffe, Daniel McClean and Jason Thompson joined Rory Best for the announcement that Banbridge Rugby Club will hold a Homecoming Festival weekend for the Irish Rugby legend which includes a tournament featuring local mini rugby teams (Darren Kidd/PressEye)

Mini rugby players Ben Best, Billy Whiteman, Richie Best, Jake Ratcliffe, Daniel McClean and Jason Thompson joined Rory Best for the announcement that Banbridge Rugby Club will hold a Homecoming Festival weekend for the Irish Rugby legend which includes a tournament featuring local mini rugby teams (Darren Kidd/PressEye)

Mini rugby players Ben Best, Billy Whiteman, Richie Best, Jake Ratcliffe, Daniel McClean and Jason Thompson joined Rory Best for the announcement that Banbridge Rugby Club will hold a Homecoming Festival weekend for the Irish Rugby legend which includes a tournament featuring local mini rugby teams (Darren Kidd/PressEye)

The Rory Best Homecoming Festival, which was scheduled for May 22-24, has been postponed due to the coronavirus.

The event, which was due to be held at Banbridge RFC with a further event at the Waterfront Hall, will now be held at a later date.

The organising committee took the decision in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, postponing it as a precautionary measure.

“We were very much looking forward to the weekend of events, so it is extremely disappointing that the events won’t go ahead as planned," said Maynard Sinton, president of Banbridge RFC.

"However, given the concerns of our members and the public around COVID-19 and considering the large number of people we anticipated coming to the club in May, we believe that the organising committee has made the right decision in postponing the events.

"The committee will review the situation with stakeholders in the coming months to reschedule the weekend.”

Rory Best commented: “It’s obviously very disappointing that the Homecoming Festival won’t take place in May but postponing the events is undoubtedly a responsible move to avoid any possibility of risk to anyone’s health.

"When the time is right we look forward to announcing new dates for the events which will benefit the club and our charity partners.”

A spokesperson for the Waterfront, which was due to hold a Q&A night with the former Ulster, Ireland and Lions hooker, said: “Original tickets purchased for all affected events will remain valid for rescheduled events. Patrons will be notified as soon as new dates are confirmed.”

Belfast Telegraph