RORY BEST was at the forefront of public criticism earlier this week due to his decision to attend the trial of two of his teammates accused of rape.
The Ireland captain and father of three children, two sons and one daughter defended his decision to appear at the trial of Jackson and Olding, accused of raping a 21-year-old girl in Belfast.
The sportsman was criticised heavily for attending the trial, considering the status of the two players accused and the pressure mounting on the victim having to give testimonial in court.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Best said he did not seek permission from his superiors to attend the trial.
He said the decision to attend was his own personal choice and checking with the IRFU was not necessary.
Best said: "We sign out on a Tuesday night and Wednesday is our day off so technically we don’t need permission to do stuff in our own time."
When asked why he attended the trial, he defended himself with: "The reason I was there, it’s on the record I was called as a character witness, and I was advised that it is important that I got both sides of the story so I could make an informed decision about that."
He said he would not comment further: "Because it is an ongoing legal matter I will not make any further comment."