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Lions call for Best

26th May 2013 22:00

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Rory Best Ireland Six Nations 2013

Swapping North America for Australia: Rory Best

Ireland hooker Rory Best has been added to the British and Irish Lions squad to tour Australia after Dylan Hartley was banned for 11 weeks.

Hartley was handed the suspension after being found guilty of verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes during Saturday's Aviva Premiership final. As a result he will only be free to play again on September 1.

While Harltey, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, has the right to appeal the decision, the Lions management have acted quickly to fill any potential void.

"With uncertainty over the availability of Dylan Hartley to tour, and with the first of 10 matches only days away, we had no option but to call up the additional player," said Lions tour manager Andy Irvine.

Best had originally missed out on selection and was due to captain Ireland on their tour of North America.