Captain, Rory Best, has praised Ulster’s signing of “world class” player, Jack McGrath who will join from Leinster at the end of the season.
The 29-year-old has won 54 caps for Ireland to date and featured in all three Tests on the 2017 British and Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand.
Having fallen down the pecking order in Leinster, McGrath explained that he felt it was the right decision for his career.
“This was a difficult decision but one I believe will put me in the best position to continue to perform at the top end of the game. I have enjoyed a huge amount of success at Leinster, but I feel that looking beyond the World Cup to the next phase of my career, I will benefit from the opportunity within the Ulster environment.”
Rory Best, who has played alongside McGrath in the Ireland and Lions front row, believes that his battle with Cian Healy for a starting jersey has made him into a “quality player”.
“First and foremost, as a rugby player, to be signing a British and Irish Lion and Irish international is…he’s a quality player. I’ve really enjoyed playing with him, not so much in a Leinster shirt.
“But playing with him for Ireland and seeing the way he progressed from a bit of a squad player to being a starting Irish international and the battle between him and Cian Healy has really come down to whoever got injured has fallen out and then the other one has had to wait their turn.
“That’s the sort of quality player you want.”
Best has still to make a decision about his future in an Ulster jersey, having announced that he will retire from international rugby at the end of the World Cup, however, he admitted that the signing of a player like Jack McGrath is an enticing reason to keep on playing.
“As a person, he’s a top bloke. Really good guy around the place and you want people who are likeable as ultimately when you get into a battle, you need to trust people around you.
“Jack has all of that and it’s really exciting for Ulster Rugby and, like I say, they’re the sort of moments you look at it and kind of go ‘could you have another year in your or not?’ because you want to play with a quality player like that.
“There’s no better feeling than in the changing room after a game and you look around and the guys around you are really good guys and you’ve gone through a battle with them.”
Rory Best was speaking at the launch of Specsavers Audiologists’ ‘Don’t Suffer in Silence’campaign, that encourages Irish adults to take a more proactive approach to their hearing health.