As Ireland, the number one rugby team in the world, heads to the 2019 Rugby World Cup we're backing Ireland's captain, Rory Best, as he approaches retirement

Two reasons for the title. First, heading into the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Ireland is officially the number one team in World Rugby! Secondly, the warm-up win against Wales at The Aviva Stadium was the last home game for a captain with more than one hundred caps for his country, Rory Best.

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World Rugby's rankings have been questioned by many, but it is a final feather in the cap of Joe Schmidt's cap that Ireland has for the first time in its history risen to the summit. The bookmakers still think that New Zealand, England, and South Africa have a better chance of lifting The Web Ellis Trophy in November. Plus Ireland has still to reach a semi-final of this competition which started in 1987. Still, confidence has been restored somewhat after a lousy 2019, so here's hoping.

Rory Best, originally a farmer from County Down, has already announced his retirement from all forms of the game immediately after the World Cup. Indeed, he has come in for some criticism over his recent form and may not automatically start every game. Nonetheless, he received a very warm send-off from the Irish crowd who respect him as a gentleman and a fine leader.

Although a Protestant from The North, Rory is admired by all, including his local GAA club. So let's get behind him 100% when we stand to sing 'Ireland's Call' with him for the last time this autumn.

Read more: Viral star busts five Irish stereotypes after his first trip to Ireland

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The Irish rugby team captain Rory Best.Flickr / Warwick Gastinger