Rugby Union

Rory Best signs new IRFU contract

Ireland's Rory Best celebrates after winning the Grand Slam. Picture by Paul Harding, PA Wire
Duncan Bech, Press Association

Ireland captain Rory Best and full-back Rob Kearney have signed new contracts with the Irish Rugby Football Union until the 2019 World Cup.

The pair are the only members of Joe Schmidt's squad to participate in the recent Grand Slam success - sealed by Saturday's 24-15 victory over England at Twickenham - and the clean sweep of 2009.

Best, who has amassed 111 caps, was at the helm throughout the NatWest 6 Nations title run and since taking over as skipper two years ago, Ireland have registered their first victory over New Zealand and a maiden Test win against the Springboks in South Africa.

"I am in a very privileged position as captain of Ireland and Ulster to be involved with two groups of incredibly talented players," said Best, who continues at Ulster as part of the deal.

"I feel I can continue to make a contribution to both Ireland and Ulster and am delighted to have extended my contract to the next World Cup."

Kearney has accumulated 83 caps since making his debut in 2007 and started every match of the 2018 campaign, culminating in an outstanding performance against England.

"I am delighted to have extended my IRFU contract and look forward to continuing to achieve with this Ireland squad," the Leinster double British and Irish Lions tourist said.

"There have been some fantastic days for both Ireland and Leinster over the course of my career and there is huge potential for growth in both squads as we look to build and develop and challenge for honours."

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