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lionsUlster 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.

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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 on Sunday: “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.

5 Responses to British and Irish Lions: Best hooker in for Hartley

  • 1

    Its a pity its come about in this way but I thought Best should have been chosen in the first place anyway.

  • 2

    GBS here is a question to get the legal side of your mind going, if Dylan Hartley appeals and is unsuccesful in his appeal against his ban and so stil loses out on the Lions tour, do you think if what he claims happened is true that he would have a case to take to a court of ‘Constructive Dismissal’ or whatever you would call it, ie. he is being pinged for being verbally absuive towards the ref Wayne Barnes and this placing his trip with the Lions in jepardy, whereas Hartley says it was directed at the opposing team’s player rather than Barnes, furthermore it seems as if there is some corner of thought that he did this in reponse to the other team alledgedly getting away with certain things in the scrum engage that ended up with a penalty against his team. So is there a case that his actions followed frustration due to incompetent handling of the game by someone who is qualified and placed in the position to handle the game correctly? I guess the big IF here is whether it can be proven that it was not the ref who was being verbally abused.

  • 3

    I meant to add to the question GBS that I presume there is some loss of income involved in missing a Lions tour.

  • 4

    Hartley is a pig and deserves this, his record for fighting and biting speaks for itself.
    Further he is so full of himself…. have some Hartley

  • 5

    2 @ Bullscot:
    I do not know under what guise / contracting structures the UK Unions operate… and if they conclude contracts with the B & I Lions players…



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