Rory Best: Retiring captain says he is leaving Ulster 'in a good place'

Rory Best
Best was substituted in the second half of the defeat by Glasgow

Retiring captain Rory Best said the realisation that he has played his final game for Ulster "was not a nice feeling".

The 36-year-old hooker retired from club rugby after the province's 50-20 thumping by Glasgow in Friday's Pro14 semi-final.

He plans to play for Ireland at the World Cup in the autumn, but his 15-year Ulster career is now over.

"All good things have to come to an end eventually," said an emotional Best.

"Ulster are in a good place and that's the way you would want to leave them at the end of your career.

"That realisation that I won't ever be pulling on an Ulster jersey again was not a nice feeling. It's something that I've given so much to."

Dan McFarland's side were well beaten by the impressive Warriors in Scotstoun, conceding seven tries in a one-sided semi-final.

While it wasn't end Best had hoped for, the Ireland captain was keen to highlight the positives from Ulster's season.

Best and Cave both played their final game for Ulster against Glasgow
Best and Darren Cave both played their final game for Ulster against Glasgow

"When we look back in a day or two we will realise that we can be hugely proud of what we have achieved this season," Best added.

"Nobody would have given us a chance of reaching a semi-final after last year but we showed a lot of stubbornness, great play and belief.

"The squad has a lot to build on, even though the lads will be hurting from the defeat to Glasgow."

Friday's defeat was also a final game for Ulster for centre Darren Cave, who equalled Andrew Trimble's appearance record of 229 when he came on as a second-half substitute.

"Ulster's been massive for him - he and his family have invested so much in it and it was nice for him to equal the record," Best added.

"I think Andrew [Trimble] will be secretly happy to share that record with Darren and it's great to see those boys sitting on top of that caps pile. It's a great achievement."