Andy Farrell Tries To Clear Up The Confusion Surrounding James Ryan & His Latest Lions Omission
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When the initial British and Irish Lions squad was named back in May, one of the biggest shock omissions was that of Ireland lock James Ryan.
It’s not that long ago Ryan was touted as a potential Test starter, even a Lions captain in the waiting so when he missed out on the squad entirely, it came as a huge surprise to fans.
Sure he hasn’t had the best of seasons given his usual high standard but the same could be said for a number of players who did get picked given the unusual format of the season this year as a result of COVID-19 implications.
So when Alun Wyn Jones was forced to withdraw from the squad on Saturday, Ryan’s name almost instantly trending on Twitter. Finally, he would get his chance. But Gatland threw another curveball, and instead opted to call up Welsh lock Adam Beard. What’s going on?
Then the Ireland team was named yesterday lunchtime. Who’s that I see? It’s James Ryan – and not only is he in the squad, but he’s also starting and he’s the captain. Strange eh?
Enter Ireland boss Andy Farrell, who has done his best to clear up the confusion. But we’re not convinced.
“Myself and Warren have communicated quite a lot and obviously I know that Warren really rates James,” he said.
“But the injury was a little bit of a setback towards the end of next week and we didn’t quite know where we were up to with that and then the medics took over and I think James over the last day or so has surprised everyone with the speed of the recovery.”
Farrell added that he had “informed (Gatland) that there was something going on and then the medics took over from there” but admitted that he did not know whether Ryan would have ultimately received a Lions call or not if he had been fully fit at the time of Alun Wyn Jones’ injury.
It’s an interesting one, for sure. And you can’t help but feel for Ryan. But it’s just not meant to be this year for the 24-year-old.