Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Ireland skipper Best set to retire after RWC 2019

Ireland skipper Best set to retire after RWC 2019

The New Zealander is stepping down from the role after this year's Rugby World Cup and led his side to a 26-14 victory over France on Sunday to keep alive the defence of their Six Nations title.

Best added: "I'm feeling very relaxed now that the body feels that it's happy to go on".

It was one they achieved courtesy of tries from Rory Best, Johnny Sexton, Jack Conan and Keith Earls.

Ireland's third win of the current campaign, today's win marked a successful return to Dublin after an opening weekend defeat to England.

Above all in need of a performance to banish some of those doubts, Ireland got just that and utterly outclassed a French side that, not for the first time in this year's championship, looked completely out of their depth.

If they are to retain the Six Nations, Ireland must not only beat Wales but hope that England fail to defeat Scotland at Twickenham.

Wales are top of the standings with 16 points after their ideal start ahead of England on 15 and Ireland with 14.

Although reclaiming the Six Nations title is not entirely in Ireland's hands, Joe Schmidt clearly believes his side have begun to distance themselves from the ominous worries that surrounded early games throughout this campaign.

"When you're playing, you start to get fixated with what's coming, or if you're playing well in this Six Nations you put yourself in the window for the World Cup".

With a bonus point secured and one eye on Cardiff, Ireland were able to withdraw Best, Murray, Sexton and fellow British and Irish Lion Tadhg Furlong before the hour.

France did score two late tries through Yoann Huget and Arthur Iturria to give the scoreboard some credibility but they were soundly beaten in all aspects of the game.

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