Lions 2013: Rory Best Lions omission is short-sighted - Wood

Media playback is not supported on this device

Ireland hooker Rory Best admits he was hugely disappointed to have missed out on Lions selection.

Two-time British and Irish Lion Keith Wood believes leaving out Ulster hooker Rory Best from this year's squad is a short-sighted move.

Best, capped 67 times by Ireland, was omitted in favour of Richard Hibbard, Dylan Hartley and Tom Youngs.

"He struggled a bit in the Six Nations with his line-out throwing and lost confidence," Wood told BBC 5 live.

"If that was the reason for him not being picked, I think it's a bit short-sighted."

Wood believes 30-year-old Best, who has captained Ulster and also Ireland, would have thrived in the Lions environment.

"I am a big Rory Best fan," said Wood, who won 58 caps for Ireland and toured with the Lions in 1997 and 2001. "He is a very good thrower, and his skills and ability are permanent. I think he has it in his leadership and in his all-round play. He is a really good quality guy and I think all he wants is the Lions - this is the thing that is missing in him.

"There is something vital about him and the way he leads from the front. Ireland suffered a bit this year and I think he has suffered because of the team, not because of himself.

"Being hooker is the loneliest place in the world throwing the ball into a line-out when you don't have confidence. Some of Ireland's calling and lifting in the Six Nations wasn't as sharp as it should be, and as the matches were going on you could see his confidence coming down.

"He lost the certainty of where his jumpers were going to be, where his lifters were, where he was going to have to put the ball. You could just see it unravelling a little bit."

Lions forwards coach Graham Rowntree revealed that in tight selection calls such as hooker, the management team resorted to individual player statistics to help inform their decisions.

Wood believes Hartley, who lost his starting spot with England to Youngs during the Six Nations, is fortunate to make the Lions squad.

"I would have left out Dylan Hartley," he added. "I don't know that he has done enough. When Northampton played Ulster in the Heineken Cup this season, Rory Best came out on top on both occasions."

Top Stories