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Heartbreak for Andrew Porter as toe injury forces Leinster star out of Lions squad


Andrew Porter. Photo: Sportsfile

Andrew Porter. Photo: Sportsfile

Andrew Porter. Photo: Sportsfile

Andrew Porter's Lions tour is over before it even began after the Dubliner suffered a toe injury in Leinster's Guinness PRO14 defeat to Glasgow Warriors.

England's Kyle Sinckler has been called up as a replacement after the Ireland tighthead prop was ruled out.

The powerful, dynamic Porter earned his call-up with a series of strong displays as a starter when Tadhg Furlong was out injured, while his big impact off the bench caught Warren Gatland's eye.

The coach expressed his compassion for a player he rates highly and pointed out that he has youth on his side and can play a part in the 2025 tour of Australia.

“It’s really bad luck for Andrew and we send him our very best wishes for a quick and successful rehab,” Gatland said.

“Andrew is a young man with a big future ahead of him and I’m sure he’ll be in contention again in four years time.

“As always in rugby, when there’s an injury there’s an opportunity for someone else. I have been very pleased to see the way Kyle has responded to initially being left out of the touring party.

“He’s showed some excellent form of late and I hope he continues to stick two fingers up to me about leaving him out in the first place.”

The decision to leave Sinckler out caused a major shock, as Scot Zander Fagerson got the nod along with Furlong and Porter.

The England star came off the bench in all three Tests four years ago in New Zealand and was a star of Eddie Jones' side's run to the World Cup final in Japan, before getting injured minutes into the defeat to South Africa.

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The loss of Porter leaves Ireland with seven Lions ahead of the tour. The Lions assemble in Jersey next Sunday ahead of their opening game against Japan at Murrayfield.

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