It “Doesn’t Make Sense” – Ronan O’Gara Argues Huge British & Irish Lions Omission
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Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions squad selection raised a few eyebrows yesterday with some big names missing out and some unexpected names making the cut.
Probably the most high-profile admission was that of Ireland captain Johnny Sexton who many expected to make the cut given his pedigree and form in the Six Nations this year.
But Gatland has instead decided to go with Dan Biggar, Owen Farrell and Scotland maverick Finn Russell – a decision that does not sit well with La Rochelle head coach, Ronan O’Gara.
Writing in his regular column for the Irish Examiner, O’Gara said that the short-term nature of a Lions squad selection meant the decision to leave Sexton at home, despite question marks over his fitness and durability – made little sense.
O’Gara is also “gutted“ for second-row James Ryan, who also missed out, despite many feeling he was a nailed on selection.
“While there is understandable comment on the exclusion of Johnny Sexton, his Leinster colleague James Ryan is another I am truly gutted for…” O’Gara writes.
“These things are totally subjective, but excluding Johnny Sexton doesn’t make sense to me from the only perspective that is important – the rugby perspective.
“We are talking about this summer, nothing beyond that, and in that context and timeframe, he is clearly a better and more experienced option than Finn Russell or Dan Biggar in the moments when the pressure is ratcheted up against the world champions.
“There are different criteria applying to each of the big omissions and you have to respect the decision-making process of Gatland and his management. The proof of the pudding will be in July and August.”
What do you think? Does O’Gara have a point?