Rory Best has spoken of his disappointment at how comments he made about Ireland’s lacklustre World Cup were portrayed in the media – especially in relation to former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.
Best spoke earlier this month at a Specsavers Audiologist event and opened up about where he felt Ireland’s World Cup went wrong.
Comments by the former Irish and Ulster captain made about ‘too much detail’ from coaches and undue tension in camp leading up the matches made headlines in Ireland following the event.
Best told Eir Sports that he felt the coverage made him look like he was throwing Schmidt ‘under the bus’.
“What really frustrated me was the actual headlines,” Best said following the Leinster Ulster game.
“When you read what was written in the article, it was more what my feelings were. People want answers about the World Cup.
“You’re talking in hindsight and I thought as a player group, and me being the captain of that group, that we could have done more and taken more responsibility – that was my point.
“People put headlines on that were not reflective. Anyone who knows me and my feelings towards Joe and how tight we’ve been over the last four years, certainly as captain, would know that he’s the best coach I’ve ever worked with – I think he’s one of the best coaches in the world.
“I just felt a wee bit let down that it looked like I threw him under the bus. That was never my intention.
“At the time, we did everything that we felt was right. I was just looking back and trying to reflect with a bit of hindsight. I was just a bit annoyed that was the way it was portrayed. People have forgotten what Joe has done.”
"He's the best coach I ever worked with.
"I feel let down that it looked like I threw him under the bus. That was never my intention."@RoryBest2 was unhappy at the "not reflective" media reaction to his comments about Joe Schmidt following Ireland's World Cup exit. pic.twitter.com/ia66dqCAtP
— eir Sport (@eirSport) December 20, 2019
Best’s leadership of Ireland was record-breaking; he captained Ireland to its first-ever win against New Zealand in 2016 and has steered the country to second in the world rankings.
He was a member of the British & Irish Lions squad for the 2013 and 2017 tours to Australia and New Zealand respectively. The Ulsterman was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to rugby.
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