Best not interested in ‘sideshow’

Date published: February 26 2016

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Ireland captain Rory Best wouldn't be drawn on the comments made by Eddie Jones regarding Jonathan Sexton's fitness when he spoke to the media after his team's captain's run at Twickenham.

Jones suggested that Sexton's parents should be concerned over the Ireland fly-half's fitness after his "whiplash" injury against France, but neither Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt or now Best have been tempted to respond.

"There's a lot of things going on in the media, we have enough going on with our own stuff," said Best.

"We're not worried about that. We've got to make sure we're as close to perfect as we can be.

"Everything else apart from the rugby is a sideshow that we don't want to get involved in. All we know is that Johnny's a quality player."

Best also noted how Ireland's two new caps on Saturday, Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey and Leinster flanker Josh van der Flier, have both added some extra enthusiasm into the squad.

"There is a bit of a buzz around the new caps, it's a great thing and for the more experienced players it's about us helping them through to a certain extent," added Best.

"Experiencing Test rugby is one thing, but there is no better feeling in the game than winning in Test rugby.

"To play against Josh is a real handful, he is very combative, carrying the ball but also in the tackle.

"You can tell with these players, when Conor Murray first came into the Ireland squad you could just tell there was something about him, and it's the same with Josh.

"You just know he's going to be a quality player. You know if you ask him to do something he'll do it.

"For somebody that young it's a great trait to have. I'm really looking forward to playing alongside him tomorrow."

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