GAA club Redmond O'Hanlon's pride over links to Ireland rugby captain Rory Best

The family of Ireland rugby captain Rory Best has close links to Redmond O'Hanlon's GAC, Poyntzpass
Connla Young

A CO Armagh GAA club with close family links to Ireland rugby captain Rory Best is hoping the Poyntzpass man will lead the nation to glory at next year’s World Cup.

Mr Best led Ireland to a famous victory over the All Blacks on Saturday - beating them for the first time on Irish soil at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

His Ulster rugby teammate Jacob Stockdale scored a spectacular try to claim the historic victory for the home side.

It is only the second time Ireland has beaten the mighty All Blacks - with the first victory coming just two years ago in Chicago.

Mr Best has close family ties with Redmond O’Hanlon GAC Poyntzpass.

His father John is a long-term member while his two nephews also play at under-age level for the Orchard County club.

Their father is Rory’s brother Simon Best, who also played for Ireland, before being retiring from the game due to a medical condition in 2008.

Poyntzpass club chairman Andy Watters last night spoke of the pride felt by local people at Mr Best’s achievements.

“Everybody is very proud of Rory Best, particularly with the links, everybody is very proud to have that connection,” he said.

Mr Watters said that club members are backing Best as Ireland, who are the current Six Nations champions, prepare to compete in next year’s World Cup.

“To beat New Zealand was massive,” he said.

“Next year I hope Rory stays injury free and leads Ireland into a World Cup and goes and wins it,” he said.

Best has other links with the GAA and it is understood he spoke to members of the Tyrone team before they played Dublin in this year's All-Ireland final.

Mr Watters also revealed that the rugby star’s first outing at the home of Ulster rugby at Ravenhill was as a child when he took part in a blitz involving a joint team from Poyntzpass Primary School and St Joseph’s and James’s Primary school.

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