NEWS: Seeing his past performance, Ireland captain Rory Best believes Iain Henderson has done enough to earn a call up to Warren Gatland’s British & Irish Lions squad after finishing the RBS 6 Nations on a high with a standout performance in their 13-9 victory over England.

Henderson scored the only try of the match to deny England a second successive Grand Slam and end their run of 18 consecutive Test victories – sending Ireland second in the 2017 RBS 6 Nations final table.

And Henderson’s form for both province and country has impressed skipper Best – who toured with the Lions in 2013 – and he believes the versatile forward could feature in Gatland’s touring party.

Best was impressed by Henderson’s ability to perform in the England clash especially given he had not started in the previous two Championship matches.

“For me I think it would be nice to see somebody like Hendy (Iain Henderson) go on the Lions Tour,” said Best.

“I think at the start of the RBS 6 Nations, you would have said he had a really good chance to go on the tour.

“After missing the Italy game through injury and not being selected for the next two, you sort of thought that maybe his chances are going.

“But the way he performed in that England game, the way he ran the lineout and how composed his versatility.”

Best believes the Ulster second row – who has also played at blindside flanker for the province this season – has come on leaps and bounds in the last two seasons.

And Best believes Henderson’s selection would be a just reward for his performances in Ulster and Ireland shirts.

“For me, the amount of work he does catching lineouts and the work I see him do now – he has matured so much in the last 12 to 18 months I think it would be really great to see him selected,” said Best.

“Whether he is or he isn’t does not take away form how fantastic a player he is but would be recognition of how far he has come in the last two years.”


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