Andy Farrell Baffled Johnny Sexton Was Overlooked Following Marcus Smith Lions Call-Up

Fighting fit.

Ireland boss Andy Farrell has had his say on Marcus Smith being called up to the British and Irish Lions squad as cover for Finn Russell at outhalf – and he’s a little confused.

Farrell can’t seem to wrap his head around head coach Warren Gatland once again overlooking Johnny Sexton, who he says is “fighting fit” and ready to go.

A very special British & Irish Lions House of Rugby show – fronted by Sean O'Brien and Alex Goode – is available now and will run for the duration of the tour. Follow and subscribe to it HERE

Sexton was a surprise omission in the original squad given his form in the Six Nations and Farrell believes there’s nothing more the Leinsterman can do.

“Johnny is fighting fit,” Farrell said after Ireland’s thumping win over the USA.

“He’s been in our camp, is taking good care of himself and Warren knows that. I heard the comments; I think he made the comments that it was a like-for-like (replacement) in terms of Finn Russell and Marcus Smith.

“I mean, I don’t know what to make of it, to be honest. Again, I can only go back to what we all know, who was the best outhalf in the Six Nations? I don’t know what more Johnny could do really.”

As for the other Irish players who received letters from the Lions, Farrell warned them to stay fit and named the likes of Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris as potential candidates.

“The lads that have had a (Lions) letter and who are in the group of 50, I’m sure they’d be the next cabs off the rank,” Farrell added.

“If I was the likes of Josh van der Flier and even Caelan Doris, I’d certainly be looking after myself. It’s been a hell of a year and all credit to them for how they finished the season off. They warrant a good break now.”