Best hints at stepping down as Ulster captain after Pro12 loss

Ulster beaten 30-18 by Leinster in Pro12 semi-final

Rory Best has hinted that he may step down as Ulster captain ahead of next season following his side's Pro12 semi-final defeat by Leinster at the RDS.

Ulster lost 30-18 to their Irish interprovincial rivals to end hopes of a first trophy success since 2006.

"I'm not sure if I'll be back as captain. We'll have to reassess. I'll speak to Les (Kiss) at the end of the season and make a decision," said Best.

Director of Rugby Kiss said he "didn't envisage any change" in the captaincy.

"I will have a good discussion with Rory about the captaincy during the off-season but he'll always be a leader among the boys anyhow," commented Kiss.

"He is always happy for the younger boys to step into leadership roles and is good at bringing the likes of Rob Herring and Paddy Jackson along.

"It may be something we look at, but we'll make those decisions later," added the Australian after the play-off loss in Dublin.

An emotional Best could not his disappointment after seeing his side fall short of securing silverware for a 10th consecutive season.

Les Kiss watched his side go down to to Leinster at the RDS

"Every year we think we have improved enough to answer the questions asked of us at this stage but yet again we have fallen short.

"It doesn't get any easier to take as this year we really thought we were in a good place to go on and do it. We felt the belief of recent weeks would drive us through but it wasn't to be.

"It's very disappointing as we felt we had a big game in us, but we'll be back again.

"It's just not the way we wanted to sign off the season and not the way I wanted to sign off personally."

The Ulster skipper added that he felt the forwards fell short of the standards they hoped to set in a hard-fought derby contest.

"We have a lot of talent in our back-line but if you can't front up and man up around the edge of the ruck and around the set-piece and you lose those little mini-battles there, it doesn't matter what you've got out wide.

"To be fair to that young back-line, they fought and scrapped with everything they had, but as forwards we probably have to take a bit of responsibility."

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