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Clarke backed for 2016 captaincy

Rory McIlroy believes fellow Northern Irishman Darren Clarke would make an ideal Europe captain for a Ryder Cup in the United States.

Clarke, 46, was in contention to be named captain for this year's contest at Gleneagles before ruling himself out of the running, with Paul McGinley appointed in January 2013.

The 2016 Ryder Cup will be held at Hazeltine in Minnesota and McIlroy reckons that former Open champion Clarke would be suited to taking the job across the Atlantic.

"There would be no better candidate from the European side," McIlroy told the BBC. " He is absolutely loved over there. He would be just as well received in the United States as probably the United States captain.

"So, it can only be an advantage for the European team if Darren was to lead us out."

McIlroy, who also voiced strong support for McGinley's candidacy late in the selection process, was interviewed with Clarke and Graeme McDowell for a programme entitled 'Major Champions', to be aired on BBC1 Northern Ireland on Wednesday and BBC2 on Thursday.

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