Best to lead Ireland west
Best to lead Ireland westSHARE
Rory Best has been named as Ireland captain for their tour to the United States and Canada after failing to make the British and Irish Lions squad.
Best was expected to be in action for the Lions in Australia later this year, but he was left out by head coach Warren Gatland in favour of England's Dylan Hartley.
Instead, the Ulster hooker leads a 28-man Ireland squad containing six uncapped players in scrumhalf Kieran Marmion, centre Stuart Olding, fullback Robbie Henshaw, prop Jamie Hagan, flank Tommy O'Donnell and hooker Mike Sherry.
"We have selected a squad who have the right mix of youth and experience and I'm really looking forward to working with them over the next few weeks," acting head coach Les Kiss said.
"USA and Canada have improved enormously since the 2011 World Cup and we know we will be in for two tough Test matches."
Kiss, acting head coach for next month's Tests in Houston and Toronto, also revealed he will be a permanent member of Joe Schmidt's Ireland coaching team when the Leinster chief officially takes over later this year.
"We've had a simple conversation and I'm very happy to be involved. I'm looking forward to working with Joe," said Kiss, who will take charge of Ireland's defence once New Zealander Schmidt assumes full control of the national team.
"I've known Joe since he came to Ireland and have worked with him before at the start of his Leinster tenure. We get on well."
Ireland squad: Rory Best (captain), Isaac Boss, Darren Cave, Tom Court, Declan Fitzpatrick, Jamie Hagan, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, Felix Jones, David Kilcoyne, Ian Madigan, Kieran Marmion, Paul Marshall, Mike McCarthy, Fergus McFadden, Kevin McLaughlin, Tommy O'Donnell, Stuart Olding, Peter O'Mahony, Mike Ross, Mike Sherry, Richardt Strauss, Devin Toner, Andrew Trimble, Dan Tuohy, Simon Zebo.