Irish captain Rory Best learned of Lions inclusion while in Donegal


Ireland captain Rory Best learned of his inclusion in the British and Irish Lions squad while on holiday in Donegal yesterday.

Best has been named in Warren Gatland’s 41-man squad for the tour to New Zealand in June.

The Ulster hooker is spending a few days in Donegal with his wife, Jodie, and their two children.

With no access to a television yesterday, the family huddled around Best’s iPhone as the squad was announced.

“I was trying to stay as relaxed as possible, but around 11.45 I was starting to get nervous,” said Best on RTÉ’s Game On

“To hear your name called, and thankfully for me it was in alphabetical order, there’s a huge sense of relief.

“You try to avoid it, but it has been built up and people have been talking about it so it is a big deal. It’s a very big deal for me and my family and to finally be named is a sense of relief and a massive sense of achievement. To share it with my family was brilliant.”

A total of 11 Irish players have been named in the Lions squad for this summer’s tour of New Zealand with Ireland captain Best beating his England counterpart Dylan Hartley to to a place.

The entire Irish frontrow of Jack McGrath, Best and Tadhg Furlong have been included while Iain Henderson and Jared Payne were also rewarded with spots on the plane.

Head coach Warren Gatland has selected a 41-man squad for the 10 fixtures culminating in a three-Test series against New Zealand.

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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