The All Blacks produced a touching moment at the Rugby World Cup following their 46-14 thrashing over Ireland.

Ireland's quarter-final exit, the nation's seventh at a World Cup, also signalled the end of captain Rory Best's career.

The Ireland hooker played 124 test matches for his country and the British and Irish Lions in a career which began in 2005.

The All Blacks made sure to give him a proper send off by lining up for a guard of honour as he walked off the field after the game.


The Tokyo crowd also gave Best a massive cheer as he was interviewed after the test defeat.

"I loved every minute of it," the 37-year-old said before choking up.

"The crowd have been fantastic. the support that I've got from home, from the fans when we're at home or away, my teammates, the coaching staff and particularly Joe [Schmidt] who's moving on as well. He brought Irish rugby and my game to a different level when he came here and a lot of credit must go to him."

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All Blacks captain Kieran Read made mention of Best in his post-match interview calling him a legend of the game.

"I just want to echo what the crowd said about Rory. He's had a fantastic career. You've been a legend of the game, so thank you very much for what you've done for this game," Read said.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen also passed on his regards to Best and the also-departing Schmidt.

"I'd like to publicly acknowledge Rory Best and Joe Schmidt, they both have been instrumental in changing Irish rugby. Big congratulations to them and their careers. Probably not the way they wanted to finish, but sport's not fair."


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