James Ryan Responds To Once Again Missing Out On A Lions Call-Up Following AWJ Injury

“Illuminating.”

Ireland lock James Ryan led his country to victory over Japan this afternoon in a cracking Test match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

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Ryan captained the side and played the full 80 minutes despite being a “doubt” heading into the game with an adductor injury that supposedly prevented him from getting called up to the Lions squad to replace Alun Wyn Jones.

It’s an interesting story that has run all week since Jones was forced to pull out of the squad after dislocating his shoulder, with fellow countryman Adam Beard replacing him on Saturday night.

Ryan was asked about all the talk surrounding him and the Lions this week and didn’t seem too impressed. He confirmed he has been “carrying a few niggles” but went on to completely avoid the question.

Yeah look, I’ve been carrying a few niggles. Credit to the physios who were able to get me back in time for this,” Ryan said.

I was delighted to be able to play today and lead out my country. It’s a huge honour and we’re delighted about the result and looking forward to next week.

But as Jamie Heaslip pointed out, the look on Ryan’s face coupled with his body language – said it all.

“He said a lot, without saying anything!” Heaslip said.

“He’s fit, he’s captaining his country, and I’m sure if there’s an injury in the second-row – it wouldn’t be crazy to think he’d be wanting a phone call.”