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Published: 11:36 | 27/2/16

Best relishing Hartley contest

Looking forward to getting 'stuck in' to opposite number

Ireland skipper Rory Best says he can’t wait to get “stuck in” to opposite number Dylan Hartley when England host the men in green at Twickenham in the RBS Six Nations Championship this afternoon.

Both men were appointed to captain their respective countries at

the start of the campaign, with Hartley perhaps a surprise choice for

England given his poor disciplinary record over many years.

However, Best claims that facing the Northampton Saints hooker is always a challenge and one that he is looking forward to today.

“You know that he’s not going to take a step back so you really only have one choice – you have to go back at him,” he said.

“That’s the beauty of playing against Dylan. That’s the way it is, it’s uncompromising, and that’s what you want in the front five.

“You just want to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in.

“You know he’s always going to be there, he’s always going to be battling for scraps and bits and pieces.

“It puts a bit of pressure on me to make sure I’m on my game.”

Best, who wins his 91st cap today to bring him level with Malcolm O’Kelly as Ireland's seventh most capped player, also had some advice for debutants Josh van der Flier and Stuart McCloskey about the daunting prospect of facing England at Twickenham.

“With the younger guys we’ll be telling them – ‘this is going to be intimidating; it’s going to be tough but it’s also a great place to come away to and win’," he added.

“There’s not many Irish teams that win here and there’s not many in our squad that have had wins here. They are hard-fought but they are really, really worth it.”


By: Kieran O'Daly

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