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Rory Best expects Ireland contract news ‘in the very near future’

The skipper says his stance has not changed.

Ireland captain Rory Best still expects to have his new contract wrapped up without fuss or much further delay.

Evergreen hooker Best insisted before the NatWest 6 Nations kick-off that he was close to finalising a new deal to keep him pushing towards the 2019 World Cup.

Ireland v Scotland – Ireland Captain’s Run – Aviva Stadium

The 35-year-old maintains that remains the case, despite six weeks passing without any further news.

Best hinted that Ulster’s upheaval in boss Les Kiss leaving, with head coach Jono Gibbes to follow suit in the summer, could comfortably account for that delay.

“I think it is at a fairly advanced stage and we’ll hopefully have an announcement about that fairly soon,” said Best, ahead of Ireland’s NatWest 6 Nations clash with Scotland in Dublin on Saturday.

“I feel I’m playing pretty well and my stance on it hasn’t changed in the last while.

“Due to a few unforeseen circumstances it hasn’t been as quickly through as we would like but hopefully we would have news on that – good, bad or indifferent – in the future, the very near future.”

Best has previously said he will sit down with head coach Joe Schmidt in the summer to discuss the future of Ireland’s captaincy.

Ulster lock Iain Henderson and Leinster full-back Rob Kearney are Ireland’s only remaining senior stars out of contract this summer.

Ireland have already tied down the likes of Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander, with both having rejected lucrative overseas deals to commit to Schmidt’s side.

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