Much was made this week of some of the high profile players left out of the British & Irish Lions touring party to NewZealand later this year. People may be scratching their heads over the likes of George Ford, Dylan Hartley or Hamish Watson but this week on ‘The Rugby Pod’ Podcast, Jim Hamilton put his own non-selection aside to deal with probably the biggest of those left out when he explained Joe Launchbury’s omission from the Lions squad.
Notwithstanding the second row grouping was probably the most hotly contested area of the squad selection, Hamilton says that he believes it is down to specific roles in that area, specifically, line-out calling.
Iain Henderson The Only Non-Caller
Of those selected, George Kruis, Alun Wyn-Jones and Courtney Lawes are responsible for calling line-outs for their respective countries. Maro Itoje apparently is developing his calling for Eddie Jones’ England side with Iain Henderson the only non-caller amongst the group of locks.
Furthermore, the big Scot goes on to say that he believes others would be called up ahead of Launchbury should Wyn-Jones not win his battle to be fit or should another of the group fall foul of injury during the tour.
“So next in if Wyn-Jones, apparently, isn’t going, I think it will be Charteris or Donnacha Ryan and I’d go with Donnacha Ryan.”
Andy Goode’s Surprise At Launchbury Omission
Hamilton fronts the weekly Podcast with another former player, Andy Goode and Goode himself showed his surprise with Joe Launchbury’s omission from the Lions squad:
“He [Lawes] has played better than I’ve ever seen him play but Joe Launchbury’s been England’s best player for two out of our five Six Nations games.”
We wait with baited breath to see whether the Welsh captain overcomes the shoulder injury he is currently fighting with but it will be fascinating to see whether Jim Hamilton’s insight is correct – should another member of the engine room be needed.
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