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James Ryan ready to put Lions disappointment behind him for season ahead

James Ryan Lions

James Ryan insists he is only focusing on the season ahead with Leinster and Ireland after missing out on the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa.

Much vaunted lock Ryan was a surprise omission from Warren Gatland’s Lions squad, as fellow second rows Alun Wyn Jones, Maro Itoje, Tadhg Beirne, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill and Courtney Lawes were selected ahead of him.

The Irishman looked likely to be called up to the squad after captain Jones suffered a potentially tour-ending injury in a game against Japan, but Wales lock Adam Beard was selected ahead of him.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Leinster’s United Rugby Championship encounter with Dragons, Ryan revealed that he is over the disappointment of missing out on Gatland’s squad.

James Ryan on missing out on the Lions squad.

“I was disappointed at the time, yeah. It feels like a long time ago now, so at this stage I’m only really looking forward, and as I said it’s such an exciting season this year to look forward to,” Ryan said, via RTE.

“Delighted to be in the last few weeks and looking forward to hopefully getting stuck in again this week.

“No, I’m not interested in ruminating or anything, I’m just looking forward now and looking to get better as a player.”

The Leinster lock looks to put a frustrating season behind him.

While Ryan’s omission from the Lions squad took plenty by surprise, the 25-year-old’s season was disrupted due to numerous injuries which kept him out of big games.

Ryan came off after 24 minutes in Ireland’s opening Six Nations games against Wales due to a head injury, and missed out on the France match the following weekend as a result.

While the Ireland lock did return for the games against Italy and Scotland, he suffered another head injury against the Scots in Murrayfield and missed his country’s final Six Nations match against England.

Ryan suffered an adductor injury shortly before Gatland called up a replacement for Jones to his Lions squad, which could have played a role in his omission, although he did captain Ireland in their two tests against Japan and the USA shortly after.

The lock has been mostly fortunate on the injury front throughout his career, having racked up 37 caps for his country already, and will hope to remain fit for the season ahead to get back to his best.

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