Ireland Star Backed For British & Irish Lions Captaincy Role

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Ireland assistant coach Andy Farrell has backed Rory Best as a contender to captain the Lions to New Zealand next year.

The Irish captain is set to earn his 100th cap for his country today and has been a revelation since being handed the role following Paul O’Connell’s retirement last year. The hooker has been playing some of his best rugby and has excelled in the captaincy role, leading Ireland to their first ever win over the All Blacks.

2013 captain Sam Warburton and England captain Dylan Hartley have emerged the early contenders, but with Warburton’s injury problems suggesting a test spot in not guaranteed and Hartley close to be overtaken by Jamie George, Farrell reckons Best has to be right up there, given his form and leadership skills.

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“There’s no doubt that he’s a contender when he’s doing as good a job as he is for his national team and his national team is doing pretty well,” said Farrell yesterday.

It’s just what he’s been through. As a player, the ups and downs of international rugby and when you’ve got 100 caps you’ve certainly been through a hell of a lot. Your experience of how you deal not just with your own game and the players around you for the feel of the game in the white-hot heat of the moment is priceless.

“That’s what I’ve been super impressed with, not only is he laying his body on the line but his decision-making and his calmness under pressure in the big games that we’ve been in, certainly since I’ve been here in the last six months, has been fantastic to watch.

“That’s proper leadership, that’s what that is, so anyone who has that skill or that trait has to be up there.”

Is Rory Best the man to lead the Lions in 2017? If not then who?

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