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Johnny Sexton and James Ryan miss out on Lions Tour as eight Irish make Warren Gatland’s squad

Johnny Sexton is the big omission from Warren Gatland’s Lions squad to tour South Africa.

he Ireland captain had hoped to make a third tour in a row this summer, but doubts over his durability appear to have swayed the Kiwi coach against taking him on tour – instead opting for England’s Owen Farrell, Wales’ Dan Biggar and Scotland’s Finn Russell as his out-halves.

James Ryan is another notable Irish absentee while there were surprise call ups for Bundee Aki and Jack Conan.

Sexton has been stood down from contact work by Leinster after he suffered three head injuries in nine weeks. He sat out the recent defeats to Munster and La Rochelle and despite a strong finish to the Six Nations, the 35-year-old misses out on one last tour having worn the No 10 shirt in five of the last six Lions Tests and come off the bench in the other.

In Sexton’s absence, the Irish flag will be carried by Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw, Conor Murray, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Andrew Porter.

More to follow…

FULL SQUAD

Backs (16):

Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) – Wing

Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) – Centre

Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) – Fly-half

Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) – Centre

Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) – Scrum-half

Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) – Fly-half

Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) – Centre

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) – Centre

Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) – Full-back

Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) – Scrum-half

Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) – Scrum-half

Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) – Wing

Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland) – Fly-half

Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) – Wing

Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) – Wing

Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) – Full-back

Forwards (21):

Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) – Second row

Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) – Back row

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) – Hooker

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) – Back row

Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) – Prop

Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) – Back row

Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) – Prop

Jamie George (Saracens, England) – Hooker

Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) – Second row

Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) – Second row

Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) – Second row

Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) (Captain) Second row

Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) – Prop

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) – Second row

Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) – Hooker

Andrew Porter (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) – Prop

Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) – Back row

Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) – Prop

Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) – Back row

Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) – Prop

Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) – Back row



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