Irish captain Rory Best has indicated that this will be his last season and he will be leaving the game after the World Cup which takes place in Japan later this year. BonusBets.com looks at his incredible career and the reaction from fly-half Johnny Sexton.
In a recent interview, Sexton has stated that the loss of their captain will be tough for the team and the veteran player will be missed. "He always puts the team first, he's always very selfless and leads on pitch with his actions and leads off the pitch too. He's been a brilliant captain for us over the last few years. He's a great character to have around.”
Best who is now 36 has his sights set on getting his team to the final four, which is something they have not even achieved in this tournament so far. Whether Sexton will take the title from his teammate is as yet unknown, although he, along with Peter O’Mahony has been the vice-captain since Best was named as captain by head coach Joe Schmidt ahead of the 2016 Six Nations. The three men have been instrumental in leading their team to some notable victories since then, including the 2018 Grand Slam, a first Test win in South Africa and a triumph over New Zealand.
Sexton’s praise of Best continued as he went on to say "I think one of the best things about him is sometimes when the line-out is not going well, he'll still say to put it in the corner if that's the right decision and he'll take responsibility. He knows that if the lift isn't quite right and it goes down that he'll get the blame, but he'll know it's not his fault and he'll just keep going. That's the sign of a brilliant captain, he does what's right for the team all the time, and we'll miss him when he's gone but we've got a lot of time with him yet, and we'll make the most of it.”
At this stage, it is possible for Ireland to hang on to the Six Nation’s crown, but to do this they must beat current championship leaders Wales when they face them in an aware match at Cardiff, and if Scotland can prevent England winning when they also play away at Twickenham. The odds are quite slim, and they cannot repeat them
Grand Slam after they sustained a substantial defeat against England. This season hasn’t gone as well as they would have like after they subsequently gave what can only be described as below par performances when they met Scotland then Italy. However, there was a glimmer of hope as they took a bonus-point win from France last weekend. Currently, Wales are looking favourite to win, "They're obviously four wins on the bounce, and they've got a lot of momentum as well, and they're playing at home," said Sexton. But it certainly won’t stop the Irish side giving it their all.