It all became slightly more real as the time came for Rugby fans on opposite sides of the world to discover which 37 men had been chosen to come together for the first Lions Tour to Australia in 12 years.
Since the announcement, the hype and anticipation surrounding the Tour has reached new heights with many a Rugby supporter discussing, deliberating and debating the final Lions squad selection.
With a few surprising omissions and inclusions, the rugby.com.au poll asked fans who they thought was the unluckiest player to miss out on the squad, England’s Chris Robshaw, Jonny Wilkinson, Scotland Captain Kelly Brown, Ireland’s Rory Best or Wales’ Paul James?
After the final results were tallied Ireland’s Rory Best emerged as the player fans thought was the unluckiest to miss out on the selection.
Best has accumulated 37 Test caps since his debut in 2005 and scored seven tries for Ireland as their hooker. He’s starred in two Rugby World Cups in 2007 and 2011 and gained previous experience as a Lion after Captaining two Tests against Canada and the US during the 2009 Lions Tour.
Some say Ireland’s recent form in this year’s Six Nations efforts may have contributed to the exclusion. But with nine Irishmen inked in the final Lions squad list, the name Rory Best was amongst the few missing.
Best received the highest amount of votes in the poll on 36%, followed by England’s Captain, Chris Robshaw who received 31% of votes. Robshaw was also an unlucky contender with his last Rugby outing ending in severe disappointment as he stared up at the faces of a triumphant Wales outfit and back at a heavily defeated English team following the Six Nations final.
One of the most revered talents in world Rugby, Jonny Wilkinson, the very man who ended Australia’s 2003 Rugby World Cup Championship dream with his own single boot, came in third place with 23% of fans voting him as the unluckiest to be left out of the Tour.
Scotland’s very own Captain, Kelly Brown came in next with 6% of votes, followed by Welsh international, Paul James on 5% of the votes.
A British & Irish Lions Tour is considered the pinnacle of many players’ Rugby careers and is a rare and unique opportunity that only very few get to experience more than once. This week the rugby.com.au poll is asking who will be one of the lucky ones.
With some surprises in the British & Irish Lions squad there’s no doubt Robbie Deans will have a few of his own up his sleeve when he announces the first 25 Qantas Wallabies on Sunday 19 May.
So who do you think will be the surprise Qantas Wallabies debutant for the Lions series? Scott Sio, Jesse Mogg, Israel Folau, Hugh Pyle, Ben Mowen, Jake Schatz or Kyle Godwin? Have your say now.