Ireland

Lions call up Ireland's Best

Sun, 26 May 2013 18:58
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Best becomes 10th Irish player included
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Ulster and Ireland hooker Rory Best has been called up to the British and Irish Lions squad for their tour to Australia, which begins with a trip to Hong Kong to face the Barbarians next Saturday.

This follows Dylan Hartley's 11-week suspension after he was sent off in the Premiership Final at Twickenham on Saturday.

Commenting on the call-up of Rory Best, Lions tour manager Andy Irvine said: "The British and Irish Lions leave on tour tomorrow [Monday].

"With uncertainty over the availability of Dylan Hartley to tour, and with the first of 10 matches only days away we had no option but to call up the additional player.

"Despite the circumstances we should congratulate Rory, who will join the squad tomorrow and fly with us to Hong Kong.

"A final decision on whether Dylan Hartley will take any part in the tour will depend on the outcome of any potential appeal."

Best played for Ulster in Saturday's Pro12 Final against Leinster. He was due to captain Ireland for their tour to North America, but will now link up with the Lions instead ahead of their departure for Hong Kong.

This will be the 30-year-old's first Lions tour. He has played 67 times for Ireland and is the 10th Irish player included in Warren Gatland's touring party.

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