Rob Kearney misses out on British & Irish Lions squad
Leinster and Ireland rugby star Rob Kearney has missed out on inclusive in Warren Gatland’s initial squad for this summer’s British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.
The Welsh coach named his squad this morning in London with the omission of the Willville man the big news from a local point of view.
Kearney, who turned 31 last month, has paid the price for a series of injuries in recent times which will also sideline him for Leinster’s Champions Cup game against Clermont this weekend.
Kearney had been hoping to complete the full Lions set this year. He previously featured on the Lions tour to South Africa in 2009, scoring a try on his full test debut in a 28-25 defeat.
He was also named on the last Lions tour to Australia in 2013 although Leigh Halfpenny was preferred for the Test matches.
Kearney had been an outsider to make this year’s tour but will be hoping to get back to form and fitness to keep him in Gatland’s mind incase of any injuries between now and then.
Eleven Ireland players have made the squad including Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Jonny Sexton, Conor Murray, Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Tadgh Furlong, Ian Henderson, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander.
The 10-match tour to New Zealand comprises of matches against the five New Zealand Super Rugby franchises, Blues, Crusaders, Highlanders, Chiefs and Hurricanes.
The opening match of the tour is against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians and the also face the Maori All Blacks, while not forgetting the ultimate barometer of success and failure of the tour, the three test series against the world champions, New Zealand.
The first match is June 3rd, the first test is June 24th and the final test and game of the tour is on July 8th.
The full squad is as follows…
Backs: Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell, Leigh Halfpenny, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Jonathan Joseph, Conor Murray, George North, Jack Nowell, Jared Payne, Jonathan Sexton, Tommy Seymour, Ben Te’o, Anthony Watson, Rhys Webb, Liam Williams, Ben Youngs.
Forwards: Rory Best, Dan Cole, Tadgh Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Maro Itoje, Alan Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Jack McGrath, Ross Moriarty,Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Ken Owens, Kyle Sinkler, CJ Stander, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Billy Vunipola, Sam Warburton (captain).