Rory Best Names His “Nailed-On” Irish Starters For The Lions’ 1st Test Against The Springboks

Nailed on.

Warren Gatland has his coaching ticket will have some tough conversations over the next few days as the British and Irish Lions get set to take on the Springboks in the first of three Test matches this Saturday.

Competition within the squad is at levels we’ve never seen on a Lions tour, at least in recent memory, and some real top players who have certainly put their hands up – will ultimately miss out on selection this week.

In terms of the Irish players, a number of them have impressed on tour so far. Bundee Aki has been a surprise package for those who don’t know him as well as we do here, while the likes of Jack Conan and Iain Henderson have certainly made their presence felt.

Rory Best has been on two Lions tours before with Gatland as head coach (2013, 2017) and he feels a number of Irish players are ‘nailed-on’ for selection.

“I would be saying that Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, and Conor Murray would be pretty much nailed on,” Best told us.

“Hendy [Iain Henderson] would have been until Alun Wyn Jones reappeared. You’re just not sure what way Gatland is gonna go with that.

“And then I feel one of Bundee [Aki] or Robbie [Henshaw] will start. I’m just not 100% sure which one. I think that Robbie, until the injury, was the guy definitely. The way he played against Japan, but to take this long to come back, and with the way the other centres have played…

“But I still think he did enough on Saturday and I would be starting Robbie as well.”

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Former Ireland rugby captain Rory Best and his farming father John Best have teamed up with Specsavers this Farm Safety Week, to highlight the impact that excessive noise exposure can have on your hearing.

Agricultural workers experience one of the highest rates of hearing loss caused by loud noises on the farm[1]. With over 137,500 farms in Ireland and more than a quarter of a million people working in agriculture in Ireland[2], Rory and John are encouraging people to address any hearing issues they are experiencing and to protect their hearing from loud noise.

For more information or to book an appointment visit

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