“Mystifying” - The best players cut from every Warren Gatland Lions squad - Page 3 of 5 - Ruck

“Mystifying” – The best players cut from every Warren Gatland Lions squad

2017: Joe Launchbury (England)

Lions boss Warren gatland was criticised for the “mystifying” omission of Launchbury after revealing the Wasps captain had lost out to England team-mate Courtney Lawes for the final second-row place in the Lions squad.

Gatland’s desire for a hard edge to take on New Zealand persuaded him to turn to Lawes and overlook England’s player of the 2017 Six Nations. Gatland admitted Launchbury was “very, very unlucky.”

“There was a long discussion about second rows, and the depth and the quality that we’ve got in those positions,” he said.

“We weren’t going to leave out Alun Wyn Jones or Maro Itoje – they were nailed on for us – and Iain Henderson has done an exceptional job for Ireland. We just discussed the differences between Courtney and Joe and they are different players.”

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