WATCH: Rory Best may have secured the Lions captaincy with one clever move that annoyed England 1 year ago

WATCH: Rory Best may have secured the Lions captaincy with one clever move that annoyed England

Joe Schmidt was asked after Ireland's 13-9 win over England if Rory Best would be his pick for British & Irish Lions captain.

"My choice doesn't count for anything," he began, "so I don't really express it. I'm incredibly proud of him and the way he leads the team, and the way he leads on the pitch and I'm delighted that's he's our leader."

Final question answered, Schmidt stood up to leave the press conference and joked to Best, "Jeez, I nearly choked on that one!"

Far from it. Schmidt said exactly the right thing.

The coach had his captains back after a game in which Best had the back of all his teammates.

During the game, Best's interactions with referee Jerome Garces spoke of a man who was keeping his head when so many around him were boiling over. Fans lavished the Ireland captain with praise when he stood up for targeted outhalf Johnny Sexton.

There was another moment during the game that may yet have secured him the Lions captaincy.

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It came at the end of a frantic half, with Ireland leading 10-3. They were just outside their 22 and needing to claim a final lineout to see out the half.

Ireland were awarded the lineout at 39:25 but Best was well aware of the game situation, the surroundings and the rules of the game. His actions were noted by former England and Lions centre Will Greenwood, although Neil Back had no issues with it.

Sport Magย writer Charlie Morgan spotted this too and captured Best's game management in two excellent tweets:

Did Best deliberately throw crookedly so a scrum would be awarded? The question did not crop up in the post-match press conference but we're sure Best would just place the blame on his own shoulders for a poor throw.

It's what good captains do...