Rory Best started in 2005 coming on as a sub against New Zealand to take up his position in the scrum alongside his brother, Simon.
While it’s not over just quite yet the end is most definitely approaching for the Ulster man who made his final appearance at the Aviva Stadium in Ireland’s 19-10 win over Wales this afternoon.
The win puts Ireland top of the Rugby World Rankings thanks to tries from Rob Kearney, Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan.
Following the game, Rory Best spoke to RTÉ about bringing down the curtain on his long, distinguished Ireland career and the Ulster hooker held back tears when reflecting on his 14-year international career.
“I told myself I wouldn’t get emotional but look this place has been unbelievably special for me over many, many years now. I think the support we got today has summed up the support we’ve got throughout my career here.
“I’d just like to thank, obviously all the boys, we said all week it wasn’t about the performance it was about the team. I’d like to thank my family, most of them are here, some are at home and then I’d just like to thank the supporters. Everyone in here today, everyone at home that’s supported me throughout my career. It’s been unbelievably special to play for this country.
“It seems a long time ago, I can still remember coming off the bench and coming into a scrum alongside my brother. Those are the things that you remember the little bits and pieces.
“I think it would be remiss of me not to mention a coach that came into Ireland a good few years ago with Leinster and with Ireland he has transformed the international game here. I’ve been very privileged to work with him as both a player and a captain.
“Look, I can’t be grateful enough for everything Joe Schmidt has done for me, for the team and for the country.”
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) September 7, 2019