Rory Best has declared captaining Ireland to just their third-ever Grand Slam as a dream come true.
Ulster’s evergreen hooker dragged Ireland to a NatWest 6 Nations clean sweep to emulate the triumphs of 1948 and 2009, as Joe Schmidt’s men overwhelmed England 24-15 at Twickenham.
Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Jacob Stockdale bagged the vital tries as Ireland sealed a first win at England’s fortress headquarters since 2010, to spark raucous St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Best and Rob Kearney now stand alone as Ireland’s only double Grand Slam winners in history, and the 35-year-old admitted he could never have imagined skippering such a triumph.
Asked to compare his two Grand Slam successes, Best replied: “This feels more special, not only because I have started every game but also because of captaining the side.
“Every kid grows up dreaming of playing for Ireland, but to win something while captaining in that special green jersey is the stuff that dreams are made of. It’s the biggest highlight of my career.
“It was a really, really tough match. We created a couple of opportunities and a few things we planned went our way.
“It was one of those days where we took a few set plays we wanted. But it was far from easy. They are a quality side.
“Defensively that was definitely our best display in the competition. We owed (defence coach) Andy Farrell one.
“We hadn’t followed through on his plan before this.”
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