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Ireland rugby captain Rory Best to retire after World Cup

Skipper Rory Best
Skipper Rory Best

Ireland captain Rory Best has announced he expects to retire after the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

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He will be 37 when the tournament begins in September.

The Ireland talisman will be hoping to go out on a high by leading his team to the latter stages of the tournament.

Best, who also represents Ulster at club level, will win his 116th Ireland cap in Sunday's Six Nations clash with France at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The Craigavon-born hooker made his Ireland debut in 2005 and has gone on to become one of the most capped rugby players of all time.

He has also captained the British and Irish Lions in a 15 year career.

"I think it's fairly certain that the World Cup will be the end for me," he said at a press conference ahead of tomorrow's game.

"I think that I feel really good, I don't feel I'm playing any worse, I'm really enjoying rugby and part of that might be because I haven't 100 per cent made the decision.

"But I'm fairly sure it will be, and part of the reason I'm enjoying rugby so much, and I hope playing well, is because there's that weight lifted off.

"When you're playing, you start to get fixated with what's coming, or if you're playing well in this Six Nations you put yourself in the window for the World Cup.

Rory Best
Rory Best

"And if you play well in the World Cup there's two more Six Nations and you're in the window to the Lions tour. And you start to get bogged down with things that don't really matter."

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