Best up for ERC award

RBS Six Nations Championship, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales 2/2/2013'Wales vs Ireland'Ireland's Rory Best supported by Peter O'Mahony 'Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Dan Sheridan
RBS Six Nations Championship, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales 2/2/2013'Wales vs Ireland'Ireland's Rory Best supported by Peter O'Mahony 'Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Dan Sheridan

RORY Best has been shortlisted for the prestigious ERC European Player of the Year award for 2013.

The Poyntzpass man was described as, “the heartbeat of Ulster who are looking to go one better than last season in the Heineken Cup. Intelligent, combative and consistent. Quite simply one of the most complete hookers in rugby. Only two other hookers have delivered more successful lineout throws than Best (64) this season.”

Selected by a distinguished panel of rugby experts, the longlist for one of the most prized individual accolades in the game includes 15 outstanding players from the 44 clubs competing in the 2012/13 tournaments.

Best played a starring role in Ireland’s opening Six Nations win over Wales at the weekend with calls increasing for him to start for for the Lions tour later this year:

Former Irish international Paul Wallace said in this week’s press: “As a former front row, I might be biased but Rory was immense.

“His scrummaging and line-out throwing were superb. He was brilliant around the field, too, effectively serving as another flanker. His charge-down, catch and miss pass to put Ireland on the way to their second try was typical of his all-round contribution. He did everything except take the place-kicks.”