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In the 52nd minute of Saturday's 19-10 victory over Wales at the Aviva Stadium, Irish Captain Rory Best departed the pitch to a standing ovation.

It was the 37-year-old's last time to play on Irish soil as he is set to retire after the upcoming World Cup in Japan.

The Ulsterman was emotional at full-time after his 120th appearance for his country but said the day was about the performance and the result and not him.

"It's incredibly special; this place. It has some wonderful memories.

"To get that reception from the supporters here, it's nice for my mum and dad and my young family and my wife to hear that.

"It's nice to see that probably over a fairly long period of time you've done more things right than not and to get that appreciation is lovely, but ultimately it was about making sure that we were able to build on last week.

"It's nice to get the standing ovation and the applause but the performance and the result was far more important than that. "

The win also marked head coach Joe Schmidt's final game at the Aviva Stadium in front of the Irish home crowd; which he praised for their constant support.

"I was here at the first game of rugby [in the stadium] with my kids watching an under-20s game with the four provinces mixed into two teams.

"Ever since then I've had some really special experiences just being here and absorbing the atmosphere.

"It's phenomenal, for such an open stadium, the volume of noise that gets created; we are incredibly lucky with the support that we have."

It's rather fitting that Saturday's victory sends Ireland to the top of the world rankings and Schmidt, who has done so much for this side and rugby in this country, will travel to Japan with the number one team in the world.

He was careful though not to get carried away with this and sent out a warning to the Irish support not to be nieve or fooled by this new title.

"We have been lucky enough to tick a few firsts off with this group over the last six and a half years but that label is not going to be relevant to anyone.

"We all know who the favourites are and it's not us.

"Knowing [New Zealand coach] Steve [Hansen] and Ian Foster and the coaching staff and some of the players, for them it's far from their minds.

"The All Blacks are very process-focussed.

"For them it is about getting out and making the ball work and working hard for each other and they do an exceptional job of it and we acknowledge the quality that they bring to world rugby."

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