Warren Gatland names his British and Irish Lions squad today and ahead of that announcement, rumours and reports have been circulating over just who looks set to miss out on selection.
Multiple sources have claimed that England stars Joe Launchbury, Dylan Hartley, George Ford, Mike Brown and Jonathan Joseph are set to miss out today and following a successful defence of their Six Nations title in recent weeks, England fans are beside themselves with fear and anger.
While competition for places in the squad is extremely high, it has long been assumed that Launchbury, Joseph and, to a lesser extent, Hartley and Brown, would be shoo-ins for selection for the tour.
If the reports are correct however, all could now miss out on the initial 37-man squad. Rubbing salt into the wound is the report that Wales star Jamie Roberts could be named in the squad by Gatland, something that nobody expected given the declining form of the 30-year-old and his sparring involvement in Wales’ Six Nation campaign this year.
For some England fans, these rumours are just too much and have taken to social media to vent their fears.
— Bokke Boy Jacques (@mrjackthrelly) April 18, 2017
Gatlan is a knob if he doesn't include Joseph and Launchbury, two of the best players at the six nations. Making way for dead Welsh players.
— Jev (@jevans286) April 18, 2017
Rumours are just that
But this is a fact
The Lions won't beat the All Blacks with crash ball centres
— Paul Williams (@thepaulwilliams) April 18, 2017
Jamie Roberts reported to be in Warren Gatland's Lions squad. What year is it?
— Nick Heath (@nickheathsport) April 18, 2017
So it looks like Jamie Roberts is on the Lions plane to NZ and not Jonathan Joseph….absolute madness. No way Warrenball beats the AB's!!
— Jon Sleightholme (@JonSleightholme) April 18, 2017
— Peter Fairchild (@pedro88852) April 18, 2017
I'm Welsh, and a troll, but even I admit that picking Jamie Roberts ahead of Joseph is absolute bullshit. Roberts is past it.
— Rugby Troll (@RugbyTrolls) April 18, 2017
If Jamie Roberts is picked for the Lions it'll be a disgrace. Isn't good enough for country. Nor Quins. Exeter run rings round him friday
— Ricky Harries (@RickyHarries) April 18, 2017
joe launchbury and Dylan Hartley to miss out, and he's going to pick Jamie Roberts,looking for a 3-0 defeat is he?
— liam noble (@liamnoble96) April 19, 2017
Ultimately, those who have just missed out will likely see themselves in with a chance of linking up with the tourist later as the demanding ten match tour will almost certainly see injuries befall the Lions squad over the course of the tour.
While this will give some the opportunity to wear the famous red jersey this summer, for fans it will still not heal the wounds of not being selected in the initial 37-man squad.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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