Rory Best backs surprise choice for British & Irish Lions coaching role

Ireland captain Rory Best believes his country’s coach, Joe Schmidt, could lead the British and Irish Lions to success in 2021.

Schmidt announced last month that he plans to step down from his position after the 2019 World Cup to focus on his family, but has not ruled out returning to coaching some day.

And Best, who is Ulster and Ireland’s captain, is surprisingly backing the New Zealand-born coach to guide the Lions to a Test series triumph over the Springboks in South Africa, should the coach decide to take up the challenge.

“The Lions is one of the few things he hasn’t done; he hasn’t been given the opportunity to be successful there,” Best told Press Association Sport.

“But I have no doubt that he would be successful given that opportunity.

“There’s no doubt with the way he performs, the way he goes about his business that he could take the Lions and be successful with them.”

The New Zealander has impressed since taking charge of Ireland in 2013 and guided them to three Six Nations titles, one Grand Slam and two triumphs over the All Blacks.

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