Rory Best

Rory Best
Best playing for Ireland during the 2015 World Cup
Full name Rory Best
Date of birth (1982-08-15) 15 August 1982
Place of birth Craigavon, Northern Ireland
Height 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 110 kilograms (17 st 5 lb)
School Portadown College
University Newcastle University
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Hooker
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004– Ulster 179 (80)
correct as of 23 January 2016.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
British and Irish Lions
correct as of 19 November 2016.

Rory Best (born 15 August 1982) is an Irish rugby union international rugby player. He plays at the position of hooker for Ulster and is registered for Banbridge RFC.


Best appearing for Ulster in 2010 Magner's League match versus Ospreys

Best was raised in Poyntzpass, County Armagh. He was educated at Tandragee Junior High School, Portadown College and studied Agriculture at Newcastle University where he played with the Newcastle Falcons academy. He returned home to join Belfast Harlequins in 2002 where he captained the team and gained his first Ulster contract in 2004.[1] He made his debut for Ulster as a replacement at home to Munster in the 2005 Celtic League. He replaced his brother Simon as captain of Ulster for the 2007/08 season[2] and continues to hold the position. He is renowned for his abilities as a scrummager.[3] Best missed the entire 2009/10 season due to surgery on a chronic disc problem.[4] Best scored two tries in 2011/12 and 2010/11 for Ulster. He was part of the Ulster side that was defeated in The Heineken Cup final in 2012.


Best made his international debut for Ireland as a replacement against the All Blacks at Lansdowne Road in November 2005 and made his first start against the Springboks in 2006. He has been involved with the national team ever since, initially sharing the number 2 shirt with Jerry Flannery. He was a member of the Irish teams that won the 2007 Triple Crown and was in the Irish Squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup[5] as well as the 2009 Six Nations Championship which completed the Grand Slam. He captained the Ireland team that toured North America in 2009, while many of his Ireland team-mates were on the British and Irish Lions team that began their tour of South Africa at the same time.

He has been ever-present for Ireland, and became undisputed first-choice Hooker at the 2011 Rugby World Cup after an injury to Jerry Flannery. He was chosen to captain Ireland during the 2012 Six Nations Championship after Paul O'Connell was injured.

Best was added to the British and Irish Lions squad for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia on 26 May[6] after English Hooker Dylan Hartley was removed from the squad after receiving a red card in the Aviva Premiership final for abuse of an official on 25 May 2013.[7]

In January 2016, Best was named as the new Ireland captain for the 2016 Six Nations Championship.[8]

On November 26th 2016, Best became Ireland's 5th centurion, gaining his 100th cap in a test match vs Australia in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.



Personal life

Best was raised on the family farm near Poyntzpass, County Armagh. He got married in Richhill, County Armagh during the summer of 2009, to a teacher at the Armstrong Primary School, of hockey and a primary seven class, name Jodie Bell, now Jodie Best. His brother is retired Ireland and Ulster prop Simon Best. His first child, Ben, was born on 23 June 2010.


  1. Matt Hughes. "Sport | The Times". Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  2. Retrieved 29 June 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. "Best is Ireland's Mister Versatile – Rugby, Sport". 12 March 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  4. "Best to miss entire season through injury – The Irish Times – Thu, Aug 13, 2009". The Irish Times.
  5. "Rory Best ruled out for up to three weeks – Rugby, Sport". 16 September 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  6. "Best added to Lions squad". 27 May 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  7. "Hartley hit with 11-week ban". Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  8. "Six Nations: Ireland name Rory Best captain and announce 35-man squad". Guardian. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
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