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Dublin: 12°C Friday 23 April 2021

Lions fans reckon Rory Best should tour ahead of Dylan Hartley

Conor Murray comes as the most selected Irish player on the app.

Best and Hartley at this year's Six Nations launch.
Best and Hartley at this year's Six Nations launch.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE BRITISH AND Irish Lions’ official app have released stats that show which players are being selected by fans in their squad selector.

Rory Best comes in as the preferred hooker over Dylan Hartley, while Conor Murray is the most-selected scrum-half, appearing in 31% of squads.

Murray is the most selected Irish player so far, with Scotland’s Stuart Hogg the most-opted for player overall, appearing in 34% of squads.

Murray (31%), Jonny Sexton (30%) and Robbie Henshaw (27%) are the three most popular Irish players overall.

Sexton is the second most-selected fly-half, with Owen Farrell placed ahead of him. Meanwhile, Henshaw is the second most popular centre, behind England’s Jonathan Joseph, and Tadhg Furlong comes as the third prop in line.

Alun Wyn Jones has been selected as captain by the majority of squads, with Best again ahead of Hartley when it comes to the captain’s role.

Owen Farrell is the most popular kicker, selected by 23% of squads, while Sexton is third choice behind Leigh Halfpenny.

In terms of fans selecting Irish players, Simon Zebo is the most selected Ireland wing, while Jack McGrath is close behind Tadhg Furlong as the fourth most popular prop overall.

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Billy Vunipola is the most popular back row overall, by some distance, although CJ Stander has picked up a hefty number of selections too.

Sean O’Brien is winning the battle of the other Irish back rows, with Jamie Heaslip close behind, while Peter O’Mahony has more votes than Josh van der Flier.

Which Irish players do you think will tour with the Lions? How many of England’s squad in Dublin tomorrow will travel to New Zealand? Where are the key head-to-heads? Let us know in the comments section.

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