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Rory Best wants conclusion to IRFU contract talks this month ahead of Six Nations campaign

Ulster and Ireland captain Rory Best wants his future dealt with before the end of January.

The 35 year-old's current IRFU deal expires in June but he has hinted that any prolonged uncertainty could start to have an impact on the pitch and would rather the issue was sorted sooner rather than later.

"I will sit down with the IRFU and with Joe Schmidt and I will make a decision on that in the next couple of weeks," he said. "I would like it sorted out before the Six Nations so I can concentrate on playing."

Reports last month suggested that the Banbridge hooker was set to be offered a new deal lasting until the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. And Best is confident he'll still be performing at a high enough level come September next year.

"If the World Cup started right now I would have no problem, but you would need a crystal ball to know what I will be like," he added.

"Right now I still feel I can play for Ireland at the top, top level and World Cup rugby is the top level."

Best, of course, ended his own 286 day spell without being part of a winning Ulster side through his man of the match display against La Rochelle on Saturday.

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