Warren Gatland Compares Rory Best To Dylan Hartley

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There’s still many matches to be played, and several months to go, but the Lions selection is slowly starting to take shape.

Warren Gatland heaped huge praise on Irishman Conor Murray last week following his string of superb performances for Ireland in their November series. It’s easy to see why as Murray has been nothing short of unstoppable in recent weeks for club and country.

Another Irish talent who impressed a lot of people in the Lions series for both his performances on the pitch and his leadership qualities, is Ulster’s Rory Best. The hooker has been a revelation since taking on the captaincy after the Rugby World Cup and continues to excel.

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Gatland left Best out of the original squad four years ago, but speaking to The Telegraph, admits that he’s been impressed with the evolution of Best’s leadership skills, and also his technical skills, comparing him favourably to one Dylan Hartley.

There is no doubt Rory Best has done a really good job. He looks comfortable. We didn’t take him initially in 2013 because we felt his line-out throwing was not good enough. He has obviously improved enormously.

He is scrummaging well, he is experienced. He has grown into that leadership role. There is a lot to admire about Rory Best. I go back to a couple of years ago when Ulster went over to Northampton and he gave Dylan Hartley a bit of a lesson in forward play and hooking that day. It was another level.

Who will get that Test spot come next summer? Will it be Best or will it be Hartley?

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at [email protected]
Jason Hennessy