Thursday 22 February 2018

Irish duo to benefit from English woe when Gatland names Lions squad

Ireland locks Henderson and Ryan (pictured) are thought to be strong contenders for selection following their thunderous performance against England. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Ireland locks Henderson and Ryan (pictured) are thought to be strong contenders for selection following their thunderous performance against England. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Gavin Mairs

Warren Gatland looks set to omit a host of big names from England's Six Nations winning squad - and Ireland pair Donnacha Ryan and Iain Henderson could be the main beneficiaries when the Lions squad is named tomorrow.

At least five high-profile members of England's side are to miss out on selection. It is understood that the omissions will include out-half George Ford, centre Jonathan Joseph and full-back Mike Brown.

At least two members of the England pack are also expected to be overlooked by Lions coach Gatland, with lock Joe Launchbury and flanker James Haskell due to miss the cut.

Ireland locks Henderson and Ryan are thought to be strong contenders for selection following their thunderous performance against England. Henderson's versatility is a strength, while Ryan has had a stunning season in what is set to be his last for Munster and Ireland.

It is understood that the fate of England captain Dylan Hartley, meanwhile, is expected to be decided at Gatland's final selection meeting with his coaches this afternoon to rubber-stamp the remainder of the squad.

England, on the back of claiming successive Six Nations titles, should still provide the lion's share of the expected 38-man squad, with at least 12 players expected to be confirmed tomorrow.

Ireland can expect to have at least eight names on Gatland's list, but it is set to be a nervous lunchtime for many of Joe Schmidt's hopefuls.

Meanwhile, former Ireland and Ulster lock Jeremy Davidson will join Bordeaux as forwards coach next season after agreeing a three-year deal to work under Jacques Brunel. Davidson has spent the last six years at Aurillac and the 42-year-old leaves with the club's blessing.

The club said: "It was Jeremy Davidson's opportunity to progress in his coaching career, and that's why President (Christian) Millette did not oppose the opportunity presented to him, aware of all that he has brought to the club." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport