Dream moment for Best
Hooker Rory Best admits it will be a "great honour" to captain Ireland in Saturday's RBS Six Nations clash with Scotland.
Last Updated: 07/03/12 11:10pm
Rory Best admits it will be a "great honour" to captain Ireland in Saturday's RBS Six Nations clash with Scotland.
The Ulster hooker has been selected to skipper the home team in the absence of Paul O'Connell, who will miss the rest of the tournament due to a knee injury suffered in the 17-17 draw with France.
Best has actually led his country twice before against Canada and the United States during the 2009 summer tour, while his brother Simon also captained Ireland on two occasions.
However he admits that it will be an extra special occasion at the Aviva Stadium, though only if Scotland are dispatched.
"It's a great honour to captain this side. It's something you dream of doing," said Best.
"As a family we travelled down to the old Lansdowne Road year after year. You always see the captain coming out first. It's something you dream of.
"You never think you'll get there, but then you start to play for Ulster and Ireland and then get leadership roles within that. At that point you dare to dream.
"It's a fantastic honour for the family. Simon will be one of the first to congratulate me, he's followed my career closely since he retired. He's always been there to give me advice.
"It will be a nice day for the family, but it will only be a good for me if we go out and get a result."
Best will equal Keith Wood's record as Ireland's most capped hooker when he plays in his 58th Test this weekend.
"When I've captained Ulster I've tried to lead by example," he added. "A lot of it is leading by example. When you get to this level the boys don't really need to be told what to do.
"They just need to see you're doing it and they'll wade in behind you. I hope to continue on from Paul in that regard."
Donnacha Ryan has been named by coach Declan Kidney in place of O'Connell in the second row while scrum-half Eoin Reddan takes over from Conor Murray behind the pack.
Keith Earls (groin), Donncha O'Callaghan (ankle), Sean O'Brien (foot) and Jonathan Sexton (foot) failed to train on Wednesday and their fitness will be assessed throughout the week.