Rory Best(R)

    Rory Best(R)
    Club / Province: Banbridge / Ulster
    Position: Hooker
    Date of Birth: 15/8/82
    Height: 1.8m
    Weight: 121Kg
    Honours: 124 Ireland caps Debut 2005 v New Zealand

    Rory spent two seasons as Ulster skipper, taking over the reigns at the Northern Province from his older brother, Simon. Educated at Portadown College, Rory is an immensely powerful and talented scrummaging hooker. Rory made his international debut against New Zealand in 2005 and has worked hard to promote himself to first choice hooker for Ireland. Dynamic in the loose, Best has been in great form for what has been a resurgent Ulster team, showing his pace and grabbing a try at the end of Ulster’s recent Heineken Cup win against Harlequins.

    Rory had been ruled out of the 2009-10 rugby season due to a chronic neck injury which requires surgery and a lengthy rehab, however his swift recovery led to him being recalled to the Irish squad ahead of the 2010 Six Nations where he came on as a replacement against Italy in Ireland's opening game of the tournament 

    Click here to read our February 09 interview with Rory

    Member of the 2011 RWC squad

    Rory equalled Keith Wood's record of most capped Irish hooker (58) against Scotland during the 2012 Six Nations when he also captained the team

    Fact Box

    - Has now been with Ulster for 9 seasons, he captained the province for 3 seasons from the start of 2007/8, taking over the role from his brother Simon

    - Celtic League title winner in 2005/6 with Ulster, Heineken Cup finalist last year

    - Played 17 games for Ireland U21 including the U21 World Junior Championship 2002 in South Africa and 2003 in England

    - Made his test debut against New Zealand at Lansdowne Road, November 2005

    - First RBS 6 Nations game was at Lansdowne Road, against Wales in February 2006; has now played in Ireland's last 34 RBS 6 Nations matches including all 5 games in their Grand Slam winning year 2009

    - Captained Ireland on the 2009 Summer Tour to North America (scoring a try against USA) and twice in last season's RBS 6 Nations, v Scotland and England

    - Scored one try in his first 26 RBS 6 Nations games, against Wales in 2007, and has added two more last season, against Wales and Scotland. All 3 tries have been scored at Aviva Stadium/Lansdowne Road

    - In round 5 last year he surpassed Keith Wood's record to become Ireland's most capped hooker

    Named Ireland captain ahead of the 2016 RBS Six Nations

    Rory has the distinction to be the first ever man to captain Ireland to 2 Grand Slams and 2 Victories over the All Blacks most recently in November 2018