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Thread: Ireland Prop Retires

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    Champion prop53's Avatar
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    Unhappy Ireland Prop Retires

    Simon Best one of Irelands prop from last years World cup as announced his retirement from Rugby. This is due to a heart condition and on the advice of Doctors as retired from all forms of Rugby. He will be missed from his club Ulster and the Ireland team.

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    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    and the rest of the world...

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    All the best, Best

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    Legend Contributor Thequeerone's Avatar
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    simply the best - better than all the rest - thank goodness Hay is still there

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    61 years between Grand Slams Was the wait worth it - Ya betta baby

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    Legend Contributor slomo's Avatar
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    a quality player, sad to see him go...........

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    What Slomo said

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    the punters friend..... stick with me and you will be wearing



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    Veteran Contributor JediKnight's Avatar
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    All the best, Mr Best.

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    Champion Contributor Badger's Avatar
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    even if he didn't play for the national side they could have done with him against the Scarlets on the weekend

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Always to see a player drop out due to medical reasons but when it sounds as serious as that there isnt much of a choice. Best of to Simon Best and whatever he does in the future

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    Veteran Contributor JediKnight's Avatar
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    Why is this in the "Western Force" thread?

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    Legend Contributor Thequeerone's Avatar
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    Reaction from the Belfast Telegraph

    Best days have just ended far too early

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    A premature end to a playing career is always hard to take, but Simon Best can still look back with great pride at a list of achievements most players can only dream of.

    It was typical of the quiet, steely determination of the man that he gave himself every chance of overcoming the odds of playing again after a heart illness brought his World Cup campaign to an end in France last September.

    For the last five months, Best has undergone weekly blood tests, as well as a host of other medical examinations and never gave up hope while hope existed.

    Best, who won 23 caps for Ireland and represented Ulster 118 times, had even started to resume non-contact training and maintained a mentoring role within the Ulster squad.

    But the Dublin heart specialist overseeing his rehabilitation, Dr David Keane, after a lengthy period of analysis, has finally told Best that although he has no long-term effects and although the condition has not been attributed to his participation in rugby, he could not advise him to resume the intense levels of training and playing required for a professional career in rugby union.

    Hailing from Poyntzpass in Co Armagh and educated at Portadown College and Newcastle University, Best began his professional rugby career in 1996 on a semi-professional basis with Newcastle Falcons RFC, where he played alongside future England star Jonny Wilkinson, before joining Ulster in 1999.

    He followed the traditional route to international honours - representing Ireland Under-19s, Under-21s and Under-23 as well as Ireland A before winning his first senior cap coming off the bench against Tonga in June 2003.

    His first start came in the World Cup warm-up match against Wales in 2003 and he was selected for the Australia-bound squad.

    He remained part of the Ireland squad for the next four years, scoring his first and only try for Ireland against Japan in the first test of the tour in 2005.

    In the same year he was appointed Ulster captain, guiding the province to the Celtic League title in 2006 although a broken ankle ruled him out of his side's title decider against the Neath/Swansea Ospreys.

    He watched the dramatic finale, when David Humphreys' drop-goal clinched the title in the last minute, from his hospital bed having suffered a fractured fibula in a 12-12 draw with Llanelli Scarlets.

    Having worked tirelessly to overcome that injury, his commitment was rewarded last summer when he achieved his ultimate honour, captaining Ireland in two tests during their tour to Argentina.

    Best then travelled to France as a key member of Ireland's World Cup squad, as first choice cover at tighthead who had the advantage of being able to also play at loosehead.

    He made three appearances at the World Cup. He came off the bench in Ireland's two victories over Namibia and Georgia as well as the defeat to France in Paris, which proved to be his last game.

    His illness occurred in the week leading up to the final pool game against Argentina while taking a walk downtown in Bordeaux with Ulster and Ireland team-mate Paddy Wallace, he suffered a sudden a loss of sensation down his right side, the onset of a headache and slurred speech.

    He was rushed to the Pellegrin hospital before being transferred to the Haut Levque Hospital in Bordeaux for further tests and was later joined by his wife Katie, who flew out from Belfast to be at his side, and his father John.

    At the time, Best's illness rocked the Ireland camp, such was his popularity in the squad.

    After returning from France, he took the drug Warfarin, which keeps the blood thin to prevent clots, and underwent a regular weekly routine in his bid to get to the bottom of the problem, seeing Dr Keane every six weeks and Ulster team doctor David Irwin two or three times a week for blood and ECG tests.

    And rather than spend his time sitting on the sofa, Best resumed some fitness training and provided a supportive role for the Ulster team during their darkest hour when coach Mark McCall resigned.

    Commenting on the announcement, IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said: " On behalf of Irish Rugby, I would like to pass on our best wishes to Simon. Our relief at his recovery following his illness during the World Cup is tinged with sadness at this news that he will no longer be able to continue to play.

    "He has been a wonderful ambassador for both Ulster and Ireland in his time as a player and we hope that although he will no longer be on the field himself, that he will continue to be involved in the game."

    Ulster Rugby chief executive Michael Reid said: "It is disappointing that Simon's rugby career has come to a premature end, however, I have no doubt it will be the start of a new and exciting chapter in his life.

    "A hard and uncompromising prop forward on the field he has been the epitome of the model professional off it and we look forward to seeing Simon regularly at Ravenhill cheering Rory and the rest of the boys on."

    His retirement leaves a massive hole to be filled in the Ulster squad.

    Thanks for the memories Simon, we'll miss you.

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    61 years between Grand Slams Was the wait worth it - Ya betta baby

  12. #12
    Champion prop53's Avatar
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    why not Jedi everything else gets put on here

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    Rookie ozhammy's Avatar
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    Sad to see him go...Great servant for Ulster...Sadly overlooked by Ireland too often

    Stand up for the Ulstermen

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    All the best, Good work

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    AS

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    Champion chibi's Avatar
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    Poor bugger, wish him all the best.

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