Leinster bowed out of the Champions Cup on Sunday following a 27-22 defeat to Clermont Auvergne, thus ending Irish interest in the competition for another year but individual performances ensured Lions tour hopes remain alive.
A below par first half by the Irish province handed the Top 14 giants a 15-3 lead at the break and gave themselves too much to do in the second half.
Despite this, Leinster gave it a huge crack and almost overturned the deficit in Lyon. Sparking their heroic effort was this stunning solo effort from one of Irish rugby’s most exciting new stars, Garry Ringrose.
Channeling his inner Brian O’Driscoll, Ringrose broke the Clermont line from deep inside the Leinster half and with nimble footwork his predecessor at no.13 would be proud of, he hit the afterburners and went over to reignite the game.
Take a look.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 23, 2017
Not only did this offer the away side hope of an unlikely victory but it also sent a massive reminder to British and Irish Lions boss Warren Gatland that overlooking Ringrose for a place in the 41-man touring squad might well have been a mistake.
With the ten match tour of New Zealand set to be a bruising affair, the 22-year-old could well receive a call up to the squad and with a highlight reel performance for Leinster in Sunday, he has likely ensured he is top of the list for that phone call.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena