Rory Best on missing out on the original 2013 Lions squad: "It felt a bit like a public humiliation"

He was later called up to the squad as a replacement

BY Simon Maguire 15:39 Sunday 15 January 2017, 15:39 15 Jan 2017

Matt Stevens, Rory Best and Shane Williams. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Rory Best has played down suggestions that he is the front-runner to lead the Lions to New Zealand this summer adding it would be a dream to even make the squad.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, the Ireland captain reflected on the disappointment of missing out on selection in the original touring squad in 2013 saying: "Four years ago, everyone was talking about who was going and your name gets mentioned. I probably started to believe that.

"The announcement was so public. We were training and the first I knew what was happening was when someone else told me. It felt a bit like a public humiliation. Everyone thinks you're going and you don't go.

"It was really tough for me, but even tougher for my family. They were devastated for me," he added. 

Best was later called up as a replacement for the banned Dylan Hartley and said: "Then, just the way I played over there, the whole thing was such a disappointment.

"That's why I avoid the subject. If you ask me would I like to go, of course I would. It would be a dream, but if I dwell on it, I'd feel like I'm setting myself up for disappointment, and also I might take my eye off what I am trying to do now," he added.

Matt Stevens, Rory Best and Shane Williams. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Looking ahead to the possibility of going this summer he said: "From my point of view, it was such a disappointing experience in 2013 so, yeah, it would be nice to rectify that, but I'm not allowing that to dominate my thinking."

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