Johnny Sexton misses out as British and Irish Lions squad announced for South Africa tour

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton has been left out of Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions squad for the summer tour of South Africa.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 1:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 1:34 pm

Sexton finished the Six Nations strongly but has suffered ongoing concussion problems since.

Ireland second row James Ryan also did not make the cut in a squad with 11 England players, 10 Wales players, and eight each from Scotland and Ireland.

However, Ulster captain Iain Henderson was selected.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ireland's Johnny Sexton.

In adition to Sexton, Jonathan Davies, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola and Josh Navidi were also omitted from the 37-man squad announced by Gatland on Thursday, although Ireland’s Jack Conan of Ireland is present.

Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones has been named captain after the 35-year-old Ospreys forward lead Wales to the Guinness Six Nations title in March.

Jones, who embarks on a fourth successive Lions tour, has clocked up a world record 157 Tests for Wales and the Lions.

Sam Simmonds has been named in the Lins squad, despite being consistently overlooked by England since winning the last of his seven caps in 2018.

He is joined by fellow bolters and centres Bundee Aki of Ireland and Scotland’s Chris Harris, with Manu Tuilagi left out as he approaches his comeback from an Achilles injury.

Gatland said: “To those players that have been selected, congratulations. I know it’s going to be challenging for a number of aspects. I just hope firstly that they thoroughly enjoy the tour and represent their four home nations the best they possibly can.”

On naming 37 players rather than the expected 36, Gatland said: “Particularly looking at our loose forwards, and the attrition, getting an extra number there is a bit of a back-up. We wanted to keep the numbers down but a 37-man squad was something we looked at yesterday.”

British and Irish Lions squad for South Africa:

Josh Adams (Wales), Bundee Aki (Ireland), Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Gareth Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Chris Harris (Scotland), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Conor Murray (Ireland), Ali Price (Scotland), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales), Finn Russell (Scotland), Duhan Van Der Merwe (Scotland), Anthony Watson (England), Liam Williams (Wales), Tadhg Beirne (Ireland), Jack Conan (Ireland), Luke Cowan-Dickie (England), Tom Curry (England), Zander Fagerson (Scotland), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Jonny Hill (England), Maro Itoje (England), Wyn Jones (Wales), Courtney Lawes (England), Ken Owens (Wales), Andrew Porter (Ireland), Sam Simmonds (England), Rory Sutherland (Scotland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Hamish Watson (Scotland), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales, capt).

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Irish and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. To subscribe, click here.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Thank you,

Alistair Bushe

Editor