He may be a year on from retirement, but Rory Best is still bearing bruises caused by rugby.
The former Ireland captain recently underwent surgery to correct the damage inflicted upon his nose by 15 years in the pro game.
"It's part of the IRFU exit medical,” Best told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast when asked about the bruises on his face.
“You have 12 months to get anything that happened during your rugby career fixed.
"My nose, I know it doesn't sound like I can breathe out of it at the minute. I was really struggling to breathe. I went and saw the ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist.
"He said my nose wasn't fantastic, which was clear to see. They repaired it two weeks ago today. They straightened a bit. The right-hand passage was completely collapsed. The left-hand passage had partially dropped into my cheek, I think. They repaired all that and straightened it up."
Best is enjoying retirement. Any thoughts that he might have been able to play on have dissipated.
“The great thing about lockdown, you're six months down the line without rugby, and you're watching games going, 'There is no way I could possibly play at that level any more'.
“When you first retire, your immediate instinct is, 'You know what, I reckon I could still play here'. That's gone from me. It's a big mental challenge that. It's been to have a bit more time with the family.
“I'm busy. I'm lucky that I grew up on a farm. There's been a lot of free time put into that, to keep my mind and body occupied.
“Where I am [living], we have about 200 acres. Then we have the main family farm that's about five miles away and they have a little bit more. Then we have another bit quite close to the border near Newry. The whole farm in total is about 1200 acres.
“At the minute, I'm not quite ready [to get into coaching]. I probably will do a little bit of mentorship, helping some of the young players if they need that.
“Longer term, rugby's in my blood. I love watching games, trying to pick games apart and seeing what you might do differently. Maybe, longer term, I would get back into it. Just at the minute, I love playing golf too much.”
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