While he surely would have wanted to end his provincial career in a more fitting fashion, Rory Best has pulled on an Ulster jersey for the final time.
The hooker started in his side's Pro14 semi final against Glasgow this evening, with Ulster hoping to upset the odds in Scotland. They failed to show up on the day, however, and were run amuck by a rampant Warriors side.
With game all but over just after the hour mark, Ulster coach Dan McFarland took the decision to withdraw Best from the action. With the Ireland player set to retire after the World Cup in the autumn, this would prove to be his final appearance in an Ulster shirt.
As Best walked off the pitch, he would receive a stunning ovation from the Glasgow crowd.
"He has been pure quality for so many seasons, for so many years, and in so many jerseys."
Rory Best leaves the pitch in his final appearance for Ulster to a standing ovation from the Glasgow crowd.#GLAvULS #GuinnessPRO14 pic.twitter.com/a6KvzUaB2j
— eir Sport (@eirSport) May 17, 2019
Seeing an ovation like that makes you appreciates Best standing within the game. He is a widely respected player, and will be a huge loss to Ulster Rugby moving forward.
While this was his last provincial appearance, Best will finish off his career at the World Cup. Hopefully that one will have a much happier ending.